Lisa M. Corr's Blog
It's amazing how one piece of carefully chosen, strategically placed furniture can drastically improve the look and feel of your kitchen, living room, or any other space in your home.
While it is very satisfying to pick out furniture that delights you every time you look at it, furnishing and decorating your home can take a big bite out of your budget. What many homeowners don't stop to consider, however, is that it is possible to get good deals on nice furniture without depleting your bank account.
Here are a few strategies for accomplishing that.
- Take advantage of sales, discount coupons, and closeouts. When a furniture outlet advertises that they "will not be undersold," it's often worth your while to stop over and take them up on that offer. First, however, it's necessary to know what the competition is charging for the same or very similar furniture. Once you're armed with that information, you're in a good position to pay the lowest possible price. Like any type of shopping, comparing prices will save you money.
- Dispense with your aversion to negotiating. Have you every heard people say "I hate negotiating" or "Negotiating makes me feel uncomfortable?" Are you one of those people? For whatever reason, it's a mind set many people have. The disadvantage of thinking this way, however, is that you may be missing out on chances to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. When you add up the savings and realize all the worthwhile ways you can use that saved money, you may reconsider your position on practicing the art of negotiating!
- Estate sales can potentially be a great source of good quality, reasonably priced furniture, and sometimes you can stumble upon incredible bargains. For obvious reasons, your ability to negotiate the best possible deal increases as the end of the sale approaches. When you play the "waiting game" or tell them you'll come back later or tomorrow, you do run the risk of someone else snatching up that great dresser, coffee table, or antique lamp you had your eye on. Waiting can be a gamble which sometimes (but not always) pays off. There's also an art and science to getting the best deals at antique shows, but effective bargaining requires the right mindset, a little knowledge, and plenty of practice.
- Attending garage sales can also yield great bargains and unique finds. Homeowners holding garage sales are often motivated to liquidate their old furniture --especially if it's a moving sale. If you've ever held a yard sale, yourself, you know that the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is to haul unsold furniture back to the house when the sale is over.
Buying your first house can be scary because, admittedly, there are a lot of things that can go wrong! That's one of the reasons that working with a real estate agent is such a good idea. An experienced agent can guide you through the complicated process of buying a home and help you navigate the potential pitfalls of becoming a new home owner. He or she can also zero in on your priorities and assist you in getting the most for your money. A real estate agent can help you stay on track, find the resources you need, meet closing deadlines, and locate homes that live up to your requirements. In choosing a buyers' agent to assist you in matching your needs (and budget) to the available real estate inventory in your area, three important attributes to look for are experience, knowledge of the real estate market, and negotiating skill.
When it comes to negotiating, the vital truths that many first-time home buyers forget are that "everything's negotiable" (or pretty close to everything) and that the asking price of a property is often not the lowest price a seller is willing to accept. A lot depends, of course, on market conditions and the demand for a particular property, but it pays to have a real estate professional in your corner when making offers. Good agents have a knack for identifying "bargaining chips" that can help you negotiate a lower price, gain concessions from the seller, and potentially save thousands of dollars now and over the term of your mortgage.
One of the biggest things first-time homeowners forget is that "there's more to a house than meets the eye". That insight can be viewed from both a positive and negative perspective.
- The negative side: Even though a real estate listing may look like the house of your dreams, there could easily be hidden problems like termite infestations, plumbing repair issues, structural problems, hidden mold growth, noisy neighbors, and so on. Except for the potential problem of noisy (or nosy) neighbors, a reputable real estate inspector can help you identify a wide range of structural flaws and other "red flags" before you sign on the dotted line.
- The positive side: One key thing that many home buyers don't always consider is the future potential of a house or property. With a little imagination, budgeting, and planning, a less-than-perfect house can be developed into exactly what you and your family want and need. Kitchens can be updated, bathrooms can have new vanities and fixtures installed, porches can be screened in, and backyards can have fences built or hedges planted for improved privacy.
A home showing may prove to be exceedingly valuable, regardless of whether you're actively searching for a residence or preparing to enter the real estate market. In fact, there are many reasons to schedule a home showing, and these include:
1. You think a home may be right for you.
If you review a home listing and feel a house may be your dream residence, it never hurts to set up a home showing. By visiting a residence, you can get an up-close look at a house and determine whether this home is right for you.
Ultimately, the only thing that a home showing will cost you is time. If you find that a home matches or exceeds your expectations, you can always submit an offer on this residence after a showing. Conversely, if a home falls short of your expectations during a showing, you can continue your search for your ideal house.
2. You are interested in learning about the local housing market.
Let's face it – the housing market can be tricky to navigate, particularly for those who intend to purchase a home for the first time. Luckily, a home showing offers a commitment-free opportunity to examine a residence and learn about the local real estate market.
Typically, a home showing allows you to review a house in-person and ask questions about this residence. Once the showing is complete, there is no obligation to move forward with a home purchase. Instead, you can assess your homebuying options and proceed accordingly.
3. You want to narrow your home search.
Although you know that you want to buy a house, you still have lots of ideas about what you want from your ideal residence. Thankfully, a home showing gives you an opportunity to walk through a house and determine what you like and don't like. And even if you decide not to proceed with a home offer, you can use the insights from a home showing to hone your house search.
If you need help setting up a home showing, you may want to reach out to a local real estate agent sooner rather than later. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can check out a wide range of residences and boost the likelihood of discovering your dream home.
A real estate agent can help you get ready for a home showing and offer plenty of insights into the housing market. This professional also will walk through a house with you during a showing and is prepared to respond to any concerns or queries. Perhaps best of all, if you want to submit an offer on a house after a showing, a real estate agent will make it simple to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.
Make your homeownership dream come true – attend a house showing, and you can increase your chances of finding a terrific residence that you can enjoy for years to come.