Expedite the House Selling Journey

The home selling journey may prove to be long and arduous, particularly for those who fail to plan ahead. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to expedite the house selling cycle and quickly achieve your desired results.

Let’s take a look at three tips to help you accelerate the home selling journey.

1. Understand Your Target Audience

You know you have a great home. Now, you just need to figure out who may want to purchase it. If you analyze the buyer’s perspective, you can determine your target audience and map out the home selling journey accordingly.

Think about why you decided to buy your house in the first place. Also, consider any unique features that may make your home an attractive option to potential buyers.

If you assess the buyer’s perspective, you may discover innovative ways to stir up interest in your home. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.

2. Craft an Engaging Home Listing

A home listing is important, as it enables you to introduce your residence to prospective buyers. Therefore, it is crucial to create an engaging home listing that captures a buyer’s interest.

As you craft a home listing, it usually is a good idea to provide clear, concise details about your house. Furthermore, you may want to include pictures of your residence’s interior and exterior to help buyers see the true beauty of your house.

In addition, you should include accurate information about your home in your listing. Because if you educate buyers about your home’s features, you can help them make an informed decision about whether to pursue your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want to speed up the home selling journey, there is no reason to work alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available around the country, and these housing market experts can help you seamlessly navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market’s conditions. He or she will teach you about all aspects of the housing market and help you create an effective property selling strategy. Plus, if you have concerns or questions throughout the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.

Let’s not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides as you review an offer to purchase your house, either. Deciding whether to accept, reject or counter an offer to purchase your home sometimes can be difficult, but a real estate agent can help take guesswork out of this decision. In fact, a real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help you make the best-possible decision regarding a home sale.

Want to expedite the home selling journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble selling your home without delay.

4 Benefits of Filing Your Taxes Early

There are several advantages you stand to gain when you file your taxes early. To receive a tax refund, it is essential that you submit your forms as soon as possible. Some benefits of filing your tax return early are:

Quicker tax refunds

One of the most popular reasons people file their tax return early is to receive a faster tax refund. The quickest means to get your refund is to file your return through electronic means with direct deposit into your bank.

Protection from tax return identity theft 

Another benefit of filing your taxes speedily is to protect you from tax return identity theft. If a criminal gets access to your social security number, the person has everything needed to file a tax return on your behalf which could lead to you losing all your tax refund. Prevent this kind of theft by keeping your SSN secret and file your taxes at the beginning of the season.

Avoiding Tax Extension

When you file your taxes early, you eliminate the need to file an extension. A tax extension is usually necessary as a result of disorganization. Some people that do not submit their taxes early will need to look for additional deductions or gather receipts which could lead to an incomplete filing.

When you delay in filing your taxes, you increase the chances of employing the service of tax professional to assist you in getting things done. If you file for an extension but do not settle your debt, and you have a balance due, you must pay interest and penalties on the outstanding tax debt until it is cleared. Avoid this situation by preparing your file as early as possible. 

Obtaining financial information

One of the benefits of filing your taxes as early as possible is that it gives you access to your financial information. If you want to buy a house or return to college, preparing your tax return as early as possible will help you obtain the essential information you need. The data from form 1040 are necessary, college students can use such information to apply for financial aid. Also, anybody that intends to buy a house must present a completed tax return as evidence of their household income.

File your taxes early or call a tax specialist in your locality to assist you if you are having trouble with your taxes.

Thinking of Making a Big Move? Use These Online Tools to Research the Area

There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.

Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.

In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.

Cost of living

Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it–cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.

Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.

Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and–perhaps most important for freelancers–internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.

How’s the weather?

Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.

To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.

School scores

It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.

Safety

Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.

When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.

The CDC provides health data for 500 U.S. Cities. And, if you’re worried about lead exposure, this interactive map from Reuters has you covered.

Your Guide To Home Buying As An Unmarried Couple

Unmarried couples often find themselves surprised at the additional steps it takes to buy a home compared to their wedded friends.

This guide will help you prepare for buying a home together as an unmarried couple:

Banks will assess you differently than they would a married couple.

Whereas they look at a married couple as a single financial unit, you and your partner will be assessed individually. This certainly has its pro’s and con’s. Know that if one partner has a significantly lower credit score it can affect your eligibility for a loan as a couple.  

Legal ownership of the title will be different.

Unmarried couples have three options when it comes to title ownership: sole ownership, joint tenants and tenants in common.

Tenants in common is the most popular. The difference between tenants in common and joint tenants is this:

  • In a joint tenancy ownership is 50/50. If one partner were to become deceased, ownership of their half of the property would carry over to the other partner.

  • Tenants in common ownership can be disproportionate to reflect each partners level of investment.  If one partner were to become deceased, their living trust would inherit ownership of their portion of the property if another option is not otherwise specified in their will.

  • Sole ownership is just that. One partner owns full legal ownership of the property. This option can have tax benefits and increase your financing eligibility if one partner has a higher income or better credit score than the other.

It’s highly recommended for unmarried couples to sign a property, partnership or cohabitation agreement when buying a home together. This is a legal precaution to safeguard both partners in the future should anything happen.

If your finances are separate it is ideal to at the very least create a joint checking account from which to draw the down payment and mortgage installments. This is especially true if both partners are contributing to these payments. It create a clean, clearcut payment process each month.

Know each other’s finances.

Discuss your credit scores, debt burden, savings, investments and financial goals. Get clear on where you each stand and how these factors will influence your buying process. Create a budget together as a couple to ensure you can take on not just the responsibility of a mortgage payment but also closing costs, homeowners insurance, property taxes and maintenance costs. Plan for savings like retirement, nest egg, family planning, future vacations, and emergency funds.

Buying a home together as an unmarried couple is a different process than that of married couples. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be harder. With an understanding of what to expect ahead of time and a plan in place, the process can be a smooth one.