Attention: First Time Home Buyers!

Buying a home is a huge financial decision, perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t have to be! We have compiled a list of things you should think about and plan for when going through the process of buying your first home!

  1. Are you ready? Just because you want to buy a house, doesn’t mean you are ready to. Be sure to be in good financial standing. Also keep in mind that having a house requires more upkeep and additional payments than just the mortgage. Keep in mind utilities, property taxes, insurance, etc.
  2. Once you know you are set to buy a house, compile a list of your needs and wants. Ask your friends, mentors, family, or significant other for help and advice when prioritizing your needs. For example, what is more important to you: the price, the size of the town, neighborhood, access to downtown, school district?
  3. Now that you know what you want and need, look online and then find an agent! Feel free to browse the internet for different listings. Just like shopping for something else, it is good to check out different homes and listings and compare them before making a decision. Next, find a real estate agent. Having an agent help you though this new experience will be extremely helpful! Professional help is immensely beneficial. There is a lot more to purchasing a home than what you may first think, and an agenext homefor salent will help you each step of the way!
  4. After finding an agent, find a lender and chose a mortgage loan that will suit your needs and plan. Your agent can also help you with this step to make it less stressful. Remember to maintain good financial status during and after this process. You should get preapproved for a loan before you start looking at homes and going to open houses.
  5. Next comes the fun part! Visit different houses and listings to see what works best for you! The first home you buy is one that you won’t ever forget!
  6. Once you make a decision on a house, make an offer, and negotiate with the owners. This can be stressful, but negotiating will pay off in the end. Once a deal is made, make sure to get an inspection of the home and appraisal done.
  7. Sign the closing papers, and you have just bought your first home!

Contact NextHome TriState Realty to find an agent who will help you in each stage when buying a new home!

 

For additional information on each of these steps, visit The Everything Guide to Buying Your First Home.

Source:

HouseLogic. “The Everything Guide to Buying Your First Home.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 5 Mar. 2018, www.houselogic.com/buy/how-to-buy-step-by-step/home-buying-steps/?site_ref=mosaic.

Image retrieved from: nexthome.com 

Increase the Value of Your Home

Before selling your home, there are many things you can do to improve your home’s value. Some steps are easy, while other are more complex and may require a professional. It can be helpful to know what improvements will be most beneficial in increasing the value of your home.

 

One area to focus on is the entryway. This is where home buyers will get their first impression of your home, so make sure to impress them! This could be something easy like adding a new rug, fresh coat of paint, or a plant.

 

If you want to update and make major renovations, make sure to update areas that are used every day; such as the kitchen or bathroom. These two areas of the house have the greatest return when renovating. In both of these rooms, you can make large or small improvements. In the bathroom, small fixes could include removing wallpaper or getting new fixtures. In these two areas especially, it is a good idea to keep up with the regular maintenance and repairs that may come with the different appliances or plumbing. Solving any issues as they come will be much more helpful than trying to fix major problems when you are trying to sell.

 

There are also a lot of general updates that you can do all over the house to increase the value of your home. Painting is an easy, extremely beneficial update that will give your home a fresh look. Having good lighting and replacing old light bulbs can also give your home a clean look. It is also a good idea to replace things that date your home, whether it’s old carpet or popcorn ceilings, by replacing them, your home will look more modern without even changing that much. Changing out the carpet can be beneficial because many home buyers don’t like to look at a home and think about having to replace all the flooring. When making updates, it is best to focus on one room and finish it before starting another renovation. Jumping around from room to room can be overwhelming and will often lead to unfinished projects.

 

There are some things that you can do, that aren’t really renovations or updates. You can increase the value of your house by decluttering and cleaning. When showing or promoting your house, make sure it is clean. A clean home will influence the buyer’s first impression of your house, and if it is clean they will be more comfortable buying it at the price it is listed. Decluttering is also important. Make sure to organize your belongings and keep it looking tidy. Doing this can make a space feel much larger than it actually is!

 

By keeping your home clean and tidy, or by making small renovations, you can increase the value of your home! Buyer’s will notice these things and will be ready to purchase your home!

 

For additional tips and information visit, 30 Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Value.

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Source:

HGTV. “30 Tips for Increasing Your Home’s Value.” HGTV, HGTV, 1 Sept. 2015, www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/30-tips-for-increasing-your-homes-value.

Image retrieved from:

https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/30-tips-for-increasing-your-homes-value

 

How to Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer

Do you ever feel like you are constantly trying to keep your house clean? Or thinking that you just cleaned and everything’s a mess again? Keeping a clean house can be a challenge, especially if you have pets or many people living in your house. We have found some different tips for cleaning your house and ways to keep it cleaner longer.

Doormats

By placing doormats by doors in high traffic areas, you can keep entrance ways more clean. These mats collect dirt and may encourage individuals to take off their shoes before walking throughout the house. Some doormats can be vacuumed or machine washable, but even shaking them out outside is an easy way to clean them. Just by adding something small, like a doormat, less dirt will enter your home!

Showers

One interesting tip we found for keeping your showers clean is by using rain-repellent spray that is used for cars. By spraying and cleaning with these types of products that are normally used for car windshields, water and soap will rinse off the shower glass rather than cause scum to build up.  

Protectant Sprays

Keeping your furniture and carpets clean can be done by using protectant sprays. These sprays can protect spills from absorbing into the couch which helps prevents from stains.

Daily Cleaning

Cleaning can be much less of a chore if you clean more often. By cleaning little bits at a time, your house will begin to remain clean. If you store different cleaning products all over the house, rather than in one area, you may find yourself quick cleaning an area. For example if you store bathroom cleaning products in the bathroom rather than in a storage room, it will be easier to quick clean the counter tops or toilet.

For more in-depth information and additional tips, click Here.

cleaner longer

Source: Sullivan, Deirdre. “7 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer.” Houselogic, HouseLogic, 23 Oct. 2017, www.housel

ogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/spring-cleaning-tips/?site_ref=mosaic.

 

Image retrieved from https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/cleaning-decluttering/spring-cleaning-tips/?site_ref=mosaic

Tips for Long Distance House Hunting

If you are planning on moving to a new location, long distance house hunting is a process you will have to go through. If you’re buying a second vacation home, or are just relocating, long distance house hunting can be a fun experience despite its challenges. Although this may sound difficult and nerve-racking, it doesn’t have to be! Here we have researched and found some tips to help you out in this time of transition!

Look Online. By browsing the internet, you can get a good start on finding your dream home. Check out the different things your new town has to offer! Does is have fun entertainment, restaurants, parks, etc.? Before you buy a new home in a new town, make sure you get to know your neighborhood and where you are living.

Tip: Keep in mind that everything online is not always as it is in person. Everything online is created to look better than it actually is, so before you make a purchase, know what you are buying!

Find a Local. Online searching will give you a good start on your hunt, but it will only get you so far. Contact a local real estate agent who knows the area and can help you find the best home that is suited to your needs and desires.

Know What You Want. When working alongside a real estate agent, make sure you know what you want in a home. Know the specifics and what you can afford for your home. Having this in mind before making contact can be beneficial in saving time and money in the long run!

Take a Trip. Make time to visit the area before you buy. You want to be sure it is a good location for you. Seeing different homes in person also makes it easier for you to make a smart purchase. If you are unable to take a trip, have relatives or friends who are in that area take a look for you and see what they have to say about the property.

Tip: Create a travel budget. Minimize your cost by planning how much you will be spending and where.

Stop Worrying. It can be easy to become overwhelmed when hunting for or buying a home in a distant location. Remember that real estate agent is working for you and with you. If you are feeling rushed or time-crunched, don’t feel pressured into buying a home right away. You can always try renting for a couple months before you make a purchase.

For more in-depth information about these tips, visit www.zillow.com/blog/tips-long-distance-house-hunting-209421/.

Source:

Birdwell-Branson, Jamie. “How to Handle Long-Distance House Hunting Like a Champ.”Zillow Porchlight , Zillow, 8 Mar. 2018, www.zillow.com/blog/tips-long-distance-house-hunting-209421/.

Image retrieved from https://www.eppselsonteam.com/2017/10/23/unlimited-real-estate-listings-and-details/

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How to Organize Your Closet

Imagine walking into your closet and being able to find the exact outfit you need for the day within a matter of seconds. This may sound too good to be true, but with organization, this can be possible! Having an organized closet can save us time and space, but where do we even start when it comes to organizing them?  Below is a list of a few ways to add space to your closet and a few ways to organize your closet. Some of the tips (like color-coordinating your closet) may sound too time consuming to begin with, but speaking from experience and personal opinion, it will save you time and frustration in the long run!

Add space to your closet…

-Hang pegboards in your closet to group similar items and add extra space.

-Have a small closet? Use bins and hanging shelves to keep your space organized.

-Store your out-of-season clothing in tubs or covered boxes.

-Use slim hangers to gain space in small closets.

-Eliminate clutter from your closet by donating unused items every few months.

Organize your closet…

-Use labels in your closet to organize your clothing.

-Group your clothing by category. For example, put all of your jeans, dress pants, etc. within the same spot.

-Color-code your clothing.

-Use shelf dividers to stack items to keep them from falling over.

Bonus closet care tips:

Take care of your clothing…

-Take care of your clothing by using the right hangers. Delicate items can be hung on satin padded hangers.

-Hang your handbags on hooks so they don’t lose their shape.

Source:

Real Simple. (n.d.). 31 Ways to make over your closets. Retrieved from https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/closets/inspirational-closets/another-take-organizing

Image retrieved from: http://www.homedit.com/how-to-organize-your-closet-like-a-pro/

Looking to fix up your front yard? Check out these easy landscaping ideas!

Redoing and/or fixing up your front yard can be very rewarding. However, it can be time-consuming and hard to completely re-do your front yard on your own. Below are some easy ideas on how to landscape your front yard AND some easy tips on how to keep your front yard looking great!

 

Easy tips for up keeping your plants

  • Water the roots of your plants instead of the tops. Watering the tops can cause them damage.
  • Pull any weeds you see growing on a regular basis.
  • Water your plants before 9 a.m. to help them beat afternoon heat.
  • Use organic mulch. It will hold in moisture and enrich the soil by breaking down.

Landscaping made easy

  • Have an area of grass that is constantly walked on, causing it to be trampled? Replace it with paving stones to create a solid pathway to walk on.
  • Is your mailbox looking worn out? Use an outdoor durable spray paint to give it a new look.
  • Use solar lights to light up your walkway.
  • Looking to redo your front door? Paint it using an exterior paint made for the door’s materials.

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Source:

Good Housekeeping. (2017, March 31). 20 easy landscaping ideas for your front yard. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/tips/g3551/landscaping-ideas/?slide=1

image retrieved from: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/starting/how-to-start-your-flower-garden.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do BEFORE buying a home!

The thought of buying a home can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first time homebuyer. You may wonder where you even begin on the journey to owning your own home. Well, we are here to help! Knowing where to start financially is a great place to begin.  Below is a list of tips to take into consideration when you are thinking about buying a home. Remember, these aren’t set rules regarding what you have to do when buying a house, but we think they are important and beneficial!

 

1.) Work on paying off debt

  • Having few or little debt will increase your chances of being pre-approved for a mortgage.

2.) Start saving money to be used for a down payment

  • Down payment amounts can vary, but having money saved looks great to lenders.

3.) Find out what your credit score is and work on improving it

  • A low credit score can hinder a homebuyer’s chances of getting the best possible mortgage.

4.) Don’t add to your debt

  • Unless absolutely necessary, try not to purchase anything on credit because it can reduce your credit score.

5.) Try not to switch jobs

  • Consistent employment and pay history looks good to mortgage lenders.

6.) Research which REALTOR® and mortgage lender to use

  • Finding a REALTOR® and mortgage lender that fits your needs is important and will help make the home buying process easier for you.

We hope these tips have helped! For an in-depth explanation of these tips, please click on the following link to visit the information source:

7 Smart Things To Do Prior To Buying A Home .

This is a great article that explains each tip in-depth, and it can help answer any further questions you have!

Source:

Sian, P. (2017, August 3). 7 smart things to do prior to buying a home. Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Real Estate.  Retrieved from http://www.cincinkyrealestate.com/blog/7-smarts-things-to-do-prior-to-buying-a-home/

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Join Us for the Celebration of Our Grand Opening!

Please join us for an Open House celebrating the Grand Opening of the Sioux City areas newest Real Estate Brokerage – NextHome TriState Realty! The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce will be here at 4 pm to do a ribbon cutting ceremony. We will be giving tours of our new office and showing off everything NextHome and it’s agents have to offer buyers, sellers, and other agents. We will be serving food and drinks, and we will be giving away some goodies! Be sure to stop by between 4pm and 7 pm on Thursday, May 3. We are located on the 3rd floor of the downtown Central Bank building.

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Are You Moving? Check Out These Packing Tips!

Moving can be a very exciting but stressful time. Before you can move, you will need to pack! How can one make the packing process for their move easier and/or less stressful?  Below are a few packing tips for your move!

 

 

 

  • Box Size is Important! Your heavier items should go in small boxes, and your lighter items should go into larger boxes. Packing heavy items into large boxes can increase their chance of breaking.
  • Boxes should not have empty spaces in them. Gaps in the boxes can be filled with towels, etc. There is a chance a mover won’t move a box if it feels unbalanced.
  • Make packing and unpacking quicker by putting items from the same room in the same boxes.
  • Label all the boxes with where the contents go and what the contents are to make for easy placement.
  •  Be sure to tape all boxes well. Tape the seams at the bottom and top of the boxes, and wrap the tape around the top and bottom edges of the boxes.

 

We hope these tips have helped! For in-depth explanations of each tip and more packing tips, please click on the following link to visit the information source: Moving Packing Tips.

This is a great article that explains each tip in-depth, and it can help answer any further questions you have!

Source:

Bluestein, A. (n.d.). Moving packing tips. Real Simple. Retrieved from https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/moving/moving-packing-tips

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Image retrieved from: http://www.fedex.com/ca_english/office/office-supplies.html

Thinking About Painting the Inside of Your Home? Read This.

Choosing a color to paint the rooms of your home can be tough. If you’re putting all of that work into painting, you want the perfect color, right? The color you paint your home will be permanent (at least for a little while), and you will be looking at this color everyday. However, have you ever thought about how the color you paint your home affects your mood and the way you feel?

Below is a list of a few colors, how they can make you feel, and feelings they are associated with. Colors can affect everyone in a different way, but generally knowing the way they could affect your mood can help you decide which color to choose, as well as help you decide what “look” and “feel” you’d like your home to have!

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WHITE

-Can represent purity

-Can make a room seem more spacious

-Can symbolize a new beginning and freshness

RED

-Correlates with comfort and love

-Considered bright and warm

-Viewed as an intense color

BLUE

-Can represent calmness or serenity

-Can lower body temperature and pulse rate

GREEN

-Symbolizes nature, health, and good luck

-Has a calming effect

YELLOW

-Viewed as cheerful and warm

-Also viewed as hard on the eyes

ORANGE

-Viewed as energetic and exciting

-Draws attention

PINK

-Calming

-Associated with feminine qualities like kindness and compassion

BROWN

-Associated with warmth and security

-Associated with strength and reliability

 

Source:

Cherry, K. (2017, May 26). Color psychology: Does it affect how you feel? Retrieved from: https://www.verywell.com/color-psychology-2795824