Should You Submit a Lowball Offer to Purchase a House?

If you find your dream house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But if you submit a “lowball” homebuying proposal, you risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

Putting together a competitive offer to purchase can be easy. Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you craft an aggressive homebuying proposal.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market fluctuates constantly. If the real estate market favors buyers today, it may shift into sellers’ favor tomorrow, or vice-versa. As such, you should study the housing market, determine whether it favors buyers or sellers and craft a homebuying proposal accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, as well as how long these homes were listed before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer’s market from a seller’s market. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of submitting a competitive homebuying proposal.

2. Know Your Budget

If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can minimize the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that stretches beyond your financial limits.

To establish a homebuying budget, it generally is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about different mortgage options and help you select the right mortgage. Plus, if you have any questions as you evaluate your mortgage options, banks and credit unions are happy to respond to your home financing queries.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you hire a real estate agent, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase on any house. In fact, a real estate agent can offer in-depth housing market insights to help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal that may receive an instant “Yes” from a seller.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. He or she first will meet with you, learn about you and your homebuying goals and create a personalized property buying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns until you find one that matches your expectations. And after you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to submit an offer to purchase that fulfills the needs of all parties involved.

Of course, if your offer to purchase your dream home is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final steps of the homebuying process. Or, if your homebuying proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market.

Avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer to purchase your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal home.

Should You Counter a Homebuying Proposal?

If you’re on the fence about whether to reject or accept an offer to purchase, it is important to remember that a third option is available: submitting a counter-offer.

Ultimately, deciding to submit a counter-offer can be a tough choice for first-time and experienced house sellers alike. But we’re here to teach you about the benefits of counter-offers and ensure you feel confident to submit a counter-proposal as needed.

Let’s take a look at three tips to help you decide when to submit a counter-offer.

1. Assess Your Residence

Although the initial asking price for your house is not set in stone, you likely have expectations about how much you should receive for your home. But if a homebuyer submits an offer to purchase that falls below your expectations, you should assess your residence to help you make the best-possible decision.

Try to take an objective view of your home – you’ll be glad you did. For instance, if you discover your home is one of many similar properties available in a buyer’s market, you may want to accept an offer to purchase, even if it falls below your expectations. On the other hand, if you feel that your home is in great condition and you receive an offer to purchase that is short of your initial asking price, you may want to counter the proposal or reject it altogether.

2. Review the Housing Market

Housing market data can help any home seller make informed decisions throughout the property selling journey. There is plenty of housing market data at your disposal, and you should not hesitate to use it, especially when you analyze an offer to purchase.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold residences, the prices of available residences in your area that are similar to your own and other pertinent housing market data. With this information, you can gain deep insights into the housing market. Then, you can determine whether an offer to purchase falls in line with the current state of the real estate sector.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to review an offer to purchase on your own. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to perform an in-depth analysis of any offer to purchase.

A real estate agent is a house selling expert who will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you review an offer to purchase. He or she can provide a recommendation about whether to counter a homebuying proposal and explain the reasons for this recommendation as well. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions about an offer to purchase, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

Should you counter an offer to purchase? The answer depends on the home seller, the real estate market and other factors. And if you use the aforementioned tips, you can perform a full evaluation of an offer to purchase and proceed accordingly.

The Disadvantages Of Buying A Bigger Home

Most Americans dream of owning their own home. The size of that pictured house is often spacious. As the housing market gets tighter, the prices of homes go up. The bigger the home you wish to buy, the larger the price tag. Keep in mind that the bigger the house you buy is, the more everything else will cost. That means you have to look deep into your budget and far beyond the list price of a home to understand what you have to work with financially. Some things that a more prominent home might bring are:

Higher utility bills due to more space that you have to heat and cool

Increased property tax

Higher insurance premiums

More expensive repairs

More expensive renovations

Bigger yard to landscape

These are all additional costs that you should consider before you take the plunge to buy a larger home. The longer you live in the house, the more these expenses can add up. Many things like flooring, carpet, concrete, and roofing materials are priced by the square foot. While living large can be a great decision, the additional expenses can really add up.  

If You Have Kids, Reconsider

Raising children is expensive. While you may want your child to have a large room and a lot of amenities right inside their home, there are so many other things that kids need. Consider your child’s hobbies. How much of your budget do you devote to those? Do your kids hope to attend college? How much extra money in your budget do you have for vacations and other activities that you may want to do as a family? Buying a bigger house could mean that you have less money in your budget for these things. Understand all the ways that you need to stretch your money before you have your eyes set on a larger home. 

Consider The Rest Of Your Needs

A more massive home means a more substantial monthly mortgage payment. That leaves less for you to save for things like retirement, rainy day funds, and other financial goals. Don’t let the fact that you have your eyes set on a big house shadow the rest of your life and your needs. A large part of buying a home is planning ahead. It will be a smart decision all around for you and your family to buy a home that’s affordable.            

Buying a larger home fulfills a dream for many homebuyers, but don’t let that idea become a singular goal.       

6 Ways to Maintain Your Lawn Mower

If you have a beautiful lawn, it is also right to assume that you have your own lawn mower. This tool is essential for people who always want to make sure that their lawn is well taken care of. The same goes for your mower, but the question is to keep in excellent condition all summer long. 

Use fresh gasoline

The higher the octane, the better as it affects engine performance. Always use a clean funnel to fill the mower’s gas tank to avoid injecting debris along with the fuel. Use certified plastic gas tanks as they won’t rust and will last almost forever. Try to stay away from the five-gallon tanks as they contain much more gas than a 30-day supply. Gas any older than 30 days can adversely affect engine performance due to moisture buildup and octane degradation. 

Oil change

You should change the mower’s oil every 50 hours of use, at least. Verify the owner’s manual for the correct type to use and follow specific guidelines of the manufacturer. This should be easy enough provided you didn’t throw away the manual. 

Spark plugs

Replace the spark plug every second oil change. Again, look to your owner’s manual for specifications. Depending on the extent of the lawn you cut, this should be done every two years or more often if you have a large lot. 

Air filter

Get in the habit of Checking the air filter. A clogged, dirty air filter can lead to engine degradation and poor performance. Clean or replace the air filter every season or when judged necessary. 

Clean the mower’s under deck area

Debris accumulates quickly under there and can cause havoc on the blade and engine. Always disconnect the spark plug before getting your hands near the edge or the under deck of your mower. Remove any loose debris that has accumulated under there and use a scraper on the tougher, encrusted spots. 

Lawn mower blades

Keeping your mower blades sharp will ensure a Clean cut of grass and a healthier mower engine as it needs to work a lot less to get the job done. You can do the sharpening yourself, using a file but remember to remove the blade first. Never sharpen a blade that is still attached to the mower. If you decide to do it yourself, remember that it must remain balanced after sharpening. An unevenly balanced blade will not cut properly and can reduce engine performance and longevity.

If you’re unsure of how best to care for your lawn mower properly, have a professional do it or buy a new one, they tend to be quite affordable. Also, speak to a landscape contractor on the best ways to manage your lawn.