The problem with household smells is that we get accustomed to them… when they are in our own homes. However, it takes just a few seconds in a stranger’s home, to know if a smoker lives there. The smell is in the air!
So when you put your home on the market, think about the common smells you might have lingering around your property. Remember, you may no longer notice them, but a prospective buyer will.
These may include:
- A diaper bin in the baby’s room
- Kitty litter
- Model making glue
- Paints, even if the cans or tubes are closed tightly
- Food. The aroma of a spicy meal can linger for hours
- Garbage cans. Even empty ones, if they are not clean
- Strong smelling soaps, perfumes and other cosmetics and toiletries
- Flowers and other plants
- Firewood, (especially pine)
- Outdoor shoes
- Door mats are especially prone to stains and smells
Try to eliminate as many smells as possible. An hour or so before a viewing, open a few windows to give your home a breath of fresh air.
“I don’t have a problem with credit,” a potential new home buyer says. “I pay my bills on time. I never have trouble getting a loan.”
That may be true. However, according to several surveys, most people are surprised by at least one piece of information in their credit report. And it only takes one derogatory item to create an obstacle to getting the lowest mortgage rate possible, or even getting a mortgage at all.
That’s why it’s important to check your credit report before you shop for a new home. You will then have the opportunity to deal with any unexpected issues.
For example, you may discover an error, which is not unusual. If you do find there is a mistake in your credit report, inform the credit bureau immediately. They are required, by law, to promptly make a correction.
If there are late payments noted on your credit report, you can write a letter of explanation to the credit bureau telling your side of the story. This will accompany the credit information that goes to your lender. Assuming everything else in your credit report is fairly good, most lenders will accept a reasonable explanation for late payments, such as being laid off from a job, an extended illness in the family, or military service overseas.
How do you get your credit report?
There are three major credit bureaus in North America:
- Equifax (www.equifax.com)
- Trans Union (www.transunion.com)
- Experian (www.experian.com)
All have websites that allow you to order your credit report for a reasonable fee. It’s a good idea to order all three credit reports as not all companies report credit information to all three bureaus.
Getting your credit report, and checking that it’s accurate, will make the home buying process go a lot more smoothly.
When you’re looking for a home, chances are, you have a checklist of things you want. Two bathrooms… a finished basement… a great looking kitchen… an expansive deck…
But what happens when a home you see has a feature that doesn’t quite measure up? Perhaps the basement is poorly renovated. Or the kitchen is small. Or there’s only one bathroom. Should you say “No”?
Here’s something to consider: A home that has a few undesirable features will probably cost less. And, those savings may more than cover the costs of any needed upgrades or renovations.
So don’t pass up on a house simply because is doesn’t meet all your criteria. It may be worth buying a home for less and then making improvements.