Purchasing home furniture should be a quick, easy and, perhaps most important, inexpensive process. However, finding affordable chairs, couches and other home furniture sometimes can be difficult, particularly for those who recently bought a house and need to furnish their residence on a budget.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you discover top-notch home furniture at budget-friendly prices.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you furnish your residence without breaking your budget.
1. Keep an Eye Out for Sales
Furniture stores are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these shops generally offer sales at different times throughout the year. As such, you should plan a trip to various local furniture stores to find the best prices on furniture for your living room, dining room or other areas of your house.
In many instances, it pays to shop at furniture stores on weekends. These stores commonly provide weekend sales that may enable you to save hundreds or thousands of dollars on assorted home furniture.
Also, you may want to plan ahead for potential holiday sales. Furniture stores frequently offer significant discounts around Independence Day, Christmas and other major holidays. And if you capitalize on these holiday sales, you may be able to pick up deluxe furniture at bargain prices.
2. Look Online
Craigslist and other online classified sites make it easy to browse for furniture from any location, at any time. Meanwhile, these sites may enable you to locate high-quality preowned furniture at a fraction of the cost of brand-new items.
If you see furniture online that you like, don't hesitate to reach out to a seller. Because the longer that you wait to contact a seller, the more likely it becomes that he or she will sell the furniture that you want to a rival buyer.
3. Negotiate When Possible
Oftentimes, you may be able to negotiate the price of a sofa, ottoman or other furniture, regardless of whether you buy from a furniture store or independent seller. If you understand the art of negotiation, you may be better equipped than other buyers to acquire first-rate furniture without spending too much.
Perform research before you kick off your furniture search – you'll be glad you did. With furniture price data at your disposal, you can find out how much your dream bed, shelving unit or other furniture costs and budget accordingly.
Furthermore, if you need extra assistance as you search for home furniture, you may want to work with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you buy a new home, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the top furniture retailers in your area. Or, in some instances, a real estate agent may be able to convince a home seller to include his or her furniture in your home purchase.
Ready to acquire outstanding furniture for your new home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of discovering amazing furniture at prices that match your budget.
Selling your home presents many opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, home sellers have an opportunity to earn a profit if they can stir up substantial interest in their properties. Comparatively, selling a home can be difficult, particularly for property sellers who are working in a buyer's market.
Ultimately, the home selling experience should be memorable for all the right reasons, and we're here to help you get the most out of the property selling journey.
What does it take to enjoy an unforgettable home selling experience? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.
1. Conduct a Home Appraisal
You love your home, but you also understand that your residence is far from perfect. As such, a home seller should perform a property appraisal before adding his or her house to the real estate market.
During a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your residence and identify any problem areas. That way, you can uncover "hidden" problems with your residence and correct these issues as needed.
A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable, especially for home sellers who want to get the best price for a property. The appraisal may require only a few hours to complete and will provide you with comprehensive insights into your home's strengths and weaknesses.
2. Prep Your Home's Exterior and Interior
Your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on property buyers, so why not make the most of it?
With a dazzling home exterior, you can boost your home's chances of generating plenty of interest from property buyers.
Home exterior improvements often are simple to complete. In fact, quick, easy tasks like mowing the front lawn or removing dirt and debris from walkways can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers.
Don't forget to clean your home's interior as well. Mopping the floors, wiping down countertops and performing other home interior maintenance may help your residence stand out to property buyers during home showings and open houses.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble enjoying a terrific home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a housing market professional who understands what it takes to sell a residence. He or she can provide extensive insights into real estate market trends and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and promote your residence. This housing market professional also will respond to your home selling concerns and queries. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you accelerate the home selling cycle and optimize the value of your residence.
When it comes to selling your home, hiring a real estate agent is a must. This real estate professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to streamline the home selling process and help you can get the best results possible.
StairsStairs are the most obvious and most important thing to consider when making your home senior friendly. You probably have at least three sets of stairs in your home, but some people have many more. When it comes to making stairs safe for seniors and those with limited mobility you have three main options: Chair lift - If someone needs to get up a long flight of stairs, chair lifts are the most useful item to have in your home. These are expensive additions to a home, however, so you probably wouldn't want to invest in one unless it is a permanent alteration. Ramp - Ramps are great for outside stairways. At the very least you should have one ramp leading to your house. These can be assembled temporarily as well, which makes having a ramp a good option if you have a house guest with limited mobility. Alter current stairs - All stairs that remain in your home should have sturdy rails. If your stairways don't have any, installing rails is a good idea in general. Steps should have nonstick surfaces. You can buy an adhesive grip at most hardware stores. Rearrange - If your house guest is only staying for a short while it doesn't make sense to build ramps or buy an expensive chair lift. Instead, make sure they can access their bedroom and bathroom all on the ground floor. If that means switching bedrooms for a week, it's a much safer option that making them risk stairways daily.
Bathroom safetyThere are a number of small changes you can make in your bathroom to make it more accessible to those with limited mobility. Here are a few that every homeowner should make:
- Use slip resistant grip in the tub
- Leave bathroom lights on overnight to avoid trips
- Install a medical alert button in the bathroom within reach of the tub
- Make sure your bathroom door locks can be opened from both sides in case of emergency
- Practice good communication and awareness
General home safetyAside from stairs and bathrooms, the home has a number of other dangers that we often take for granted. Some good practices include:
- Remove slippery rugs from floors
- Clear walking spaces of clutter, moving furniture if you have to
- Have your guest let you know or accompany them when they're walking outside on dangerous surfaces
- Make your guest aware of things like fire extinguishers, telephones, and first aid kits
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, there are a number of financial factors you’ll need to consider.
One of the factors that all lenders will consider when determining whether or not to approve you for a mortgage is credit score.
In this article, we’ll lay out the minimum and ideal credit scores that are needed for getting approved for a home loan.
Determining Your Score
As you may guess, credit reporting is a complicated business. There are three main reporting companies that lenders use to determine your credit: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These companies largely collect the same data about your finances, but can have minor variations. Lenders will take these scores and use the median or middle score to determine your credit rating.
Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Americans have the ability to confirm the accuracy of their reports.
If you want to find your credit score, there are a number of online reporting agencies that will show you your report for free on an annual or monthly basis.
Minimum credit scores
Depending on the type of loan you’re applying for and which lender you are pursuing, minimum credit scores vary.
For those seeking first-time homeowner (FHA) loans, you’ll need a credit score of at least 580 to qualify for a 3.5% down payment. A score lower than this amount and you will need to put at least 10% down.
Since FHA loans are insured by the government, you are more likely to be approved if you have a low or “poor” or “bad” credit score (usually anywhere from 300 to 650).
Another type of loan that could help people with low credit is offered by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. These loans, known as VA loans, are guaranteed, in part, by the government. However, the loans are still approved and distributed by lenders who all have varying minimum credit requirements. A good benchmark is that you’ll need a score of at least 620 to be approved.
Minimum isn’t ideal
While you may get approved for a loan with a low credit, this isn’t always a reason to celebrate.
Lenders use your credit score, among other things, to help determine the interest rate of your loan. A lower score often means a higher interest rate.
While 1 or 2 percent can seem like a small number, it can mean paying tens of thousands of dollars more in interest over the span of a thirty-year loan.
To illustrate the importance of one percent, consider the following. If you owe $200,000 on a home and intend to pay it over 30 years, you will pay $103,000 in interest at 3% and $143,000 at 4% - that’s a difference of $40,000.
Rather than shooting for the minimum credit score, a better approach would be to build credit while saving for a down payment. Someone with a credit score of 740 or higher will be seen by most mortgage lenders as an ideal person to lend to.
Of course, life doesn’t always allow for the ideal situation. So, do your best to save and build credit, and be sure to shop around for the best rates when you’re ready.
Deciphering credit scoresMost major lenders assign your credit score based on the information provided by three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies report your credit history to FICO, who give you a score from 300 to 850 (850 being the best your score can get). When applying for a mortgage (or attempting to be pre-approved for a home loan), the lender you choose will weight several aspects to determine if they will lend money to you and under what terms they will lend you the money. Among these are your employment status, current salary, your savings and assets, and your credit score. Lenders use this data to attempt to determine how likely you are to pay off your debt. To be considered a "safe" person to lend money to it will require a combination of things, including good credit. What is good credit? Credit scores are based on five components:
- 35%: your payment history
- 30%: your debt amount
- 15%: length of your credit history
- 10%: types of credit you have used
- 10%: recent credit inquiries (such as taking out new loans or opening new credit cards)
What does this mean for taking out mortgages?A higher credit score will get you a lower interest rate. By the time you pay off your mortgage, just a hundred points on your credit score could save you thousands on your mortgage, and that's not including the money you might save by getting lower interest rates on other loans as well. If you would like to buy a home within the next few years, take this time to focus on building your credit score:
- If you have high balances, do your best to lower them
- If you have a tendency to miss payments, set recurring reminders in your phone to make sure you pay on time
- If you don't have diverse credit, it could be a good time to take out a loan or open your first credit card