Sabrina Carr's Blog
Lynnfield, MA 01940
Lynnfield, MA 01940
Homeowners associations (HOAs) exist to maintain the cleanliness and appeal of a community. Whether a home belongs to a HOA is a major consideration for home buyers. Some see it as a benefit, others a deal breaker. Here's what to consider before going with or without a HOA.
If privacy is a high priority, a HOA may not be ideal for you. Homes that are part of a HOA are usually connected or have very little space between them. If you're looking forward to meeting and becoming friends with your neighbors, you may not mind. In fact, most HOAs will organize community activities to foster cohesiveness between residents.
Monthly HOA fees can range anywhere from $200 to $600. Just as with rent, more desirable locations like New York City and Los Angeles will fall in the higher end of the spectrum, while small towns and rural areas in the lower end. The upkeep required for older homes and more populated communities will also demand higher fees. Amenities such as golf courses, fitness centers, and gated security will also add dollars to your dues.
HOA rules vary widely and are voted on by the community's residents. You'll be restricted on what colors you can paint your home's exterior, what decorations you can place, how late you can use the fitness center, where you park, etc. Some HOAs also have rules on the size and number of pets you can have. You can vote on new rules in the meetings, but don't expect midnight parties to become a thing.
One of the premier benefits a HOA offers is resolving disputes. You won't have to write a passive-aggressive letter to your neighbor about their barking dog or parking in your assigned space. Bring it to the HOA, and they should address the issue directly with the offender. On the other hand, if you happen to have petty neighbors, you may find yourself being reported for actions that may or may not be against the rules.
Another big selling point of a HOA is the convenience. You'll never have to mow your lawn, rake leaves, or clear snow. Most HOAs will cover general maintenance such as HVAC and plumbing repairs, pest control, and landscaping. Again, the quality of these services depends on the HOA itself, so be sure to do your research beforehand.
The pros and cons of a HOA all come down to your individual values, plans for your home, and the price and quality of the services rendered by the HOA. Read online reviews and talk to your potential neighbors to get an idea of what to expect.
If you plan to sell your home soon, you should learn about the local housing sector. By doing so, you can gain the insights you need to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and optimize your home sale earnings.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze the local housing market before you list your residence.
1. Check Out Available Houses in Your Area
For those who want to learn about the housing market, it helps to assess how your residence stacks up against other available residences. If you check out available residences in your city or town, you can gain real estate market insights to help you price your house appropriately.
If you find your home pales in comparison to other houses in your area, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always upgrade your residence prior to adding it to the real estate market. And as a result, you can perform home repairs to ensure your house will impress buyers as soon as it becomes available.
2. Determine If the Housing Market Favors Buyers or Sellers
Differentiating a buyer's market from a seller's market is crucial. If you study the local housing market, you can determine if the real estate sector favors buyers or sellers and plan accordingly.
In a buyer's market, there may be many quality houses available that remain available for weeks or months after they are listed. Or, in a seller's market, buyers may be motivated to purchase houses as quickly as possible.
Regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it is paramount to make your home an appealing option to buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, you could boost the likelihood that your home will stand out from other available residences. Plus, if your home boasts amazing curb appeal, buyers may fall in love with your residence right away.
3. Find Out What Makes Your Home Unique
Once you study the local housing sector, you can find out what makes your house unique. Then, you can craft a home listing to showcase your residence's distinct features to potential buyers.
Of course, if you need assistance as you try to promote your residence to buyers, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to navigate the home selling journey like a pro.
A real estate agent will teach you about the housing market in your city or town and ensure you can showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. Best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling questions and help you make informed decisions as you navigate the property selling journey.
Want to learn about the local housing sector? Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can perform an in-depth review of the housing market in your city or town and obtain the home selling insights you need to succeed.
If you know you’d like to buy a home in the future, you’ve probably thought about saving money for all of the upfront costs that buying a home can bring. Saving the sizable amount of money that it takes for a down payment can be seemingly impossible to do. It’s impossible without making yourself seem miserable for a time, at least. You can save money creatively without sacrificing everything. Below, you’ll find some tips for saving money that work for your life.
Put Your Money Somewhere Safe
While investing in the stock market may seem like a good idea to put your savings on hyperdrive, it’s risky. When it comes to your savings, try high interest savings accounts and CDs. The latter is a particularly good option because you won’t be able to touch the money for the time period that the CD will mature. You’ll also earn a bit of interest on the funds that are in there.
If you plan to keep adding to your savings (which you should) a traditional savings account is best. You should have a dedicated account that’s solely for the house fund. Do some shopping around for the savings account that will have the best interest rate and be the easiest option for you. Remember that as boring as a savings account seems, it’s a safe bet for your money.
Apps Can Assist You
There are plenty of budgeting apps and apps that help you to set aside spare change. You should make use of these tools to help you reach your savings goals. Whether you need some help with budgeting or need to find ways to put your spare change to good use, there’s an app for that. You can even find apps that will reward you for good behavior. These apps may “tip” you a few bucks for going to the gym or completing a project on time. You’re saving money and doing good for yourself at the same time! Saving money for your future home can be fun if you find the right tools to help you.
One reason that many people don’t save a lot of money is that they lack specific goals. If you sit down and look at your budget, you’ll see where you can cut expenses. Then, you’ll be able to have clear cut goals of how much you can save on a weekly or monthly basis. With your eyes on the prize of homeownership, you should be motivated to save where you can. Having specific numbers in mind can be a big help in reaching your long-term goals.