Donna Plouffe Team's Blog
Attending a home showing often represents a major milestone in the homebuying journey. But after you take an up-close look at a house, how should you proceed?
There are many questions to consider after you attend a home showing, including:
1. What Did You Think of the Home?
Although it may appear to be love at first sight after you view a property for the first time, it usually is better to err on the side of caution. Thus, after you check out a home, you may want to take at least a few hours to assess the property.
Does the residence fit your budget? Is the property big enough to accommodate your family? And is the residence close to your office? These are just some of the questions that you'll want to consider as you evaluate the pros and cons of a house.
Also, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent. This professional may be able to offer additional insights into a house that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere. By doing so, your real estate agent can help you determine how to proceed with a residence.
2. Should I Submit an Offer?
The decision to submit an offer on a house is a big one, particularly for those who want to purchase a high-quality property at a budget-friendly price.
Ultimately, you'll want to look at various housing market factors before you submit an offer on a residence. Consider how long a residence has been listed as well as the prices of comparable houses in the same city or town. Furthermore, you'll want to consider the property's condition and whether major repairs will be needed in the near future.
Your real estate agent can help you put together a competitive offer on a house that won't exceed your budget. This housing market professional will enable you to examine the pros and cons of a residence and make it easy for you to decide how to move forward after a home showing.
3. What Are My Options?
Homebuyers have many options after they view a house. They may choose to submit an offer on the residence. Or, if a house fails to meet their expectations, homebuyers can continue to explore the real estate market.
No homebuyer should feel backed into a corner after a home showing. Fortunately, your real estate agent will be able to outline all of your options. This real estate professional will simplify the process of finding your dream house and allocate the necessary time and resources to explain all of the options at your disposal.
Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent can answer any concerns or questions at each stage of the homebuying journey. That way, if you're uncertain about a residence that you recently viewed, your real estate agent will be able to respond to your queries without delay.
Take advantage of home showings, and you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence.
It doesn't take much for household budgets to get thrown off track, especially if you find yourself spending more at the grocery store, every week, than you need to.
If you're looking for some money-saving strategies to cut your grocery spending, the first step is to identify the source of the problem. Here are five possibilities:
- Grocery shopping when you're hungry: Although we've all done this at one time or another, there are things you can do to reduce the frequency with which it happens. The obvious solution is to either schedule your shopping trips for after you've eaten or to have a healthy snack before heading to the store. By taking those simple steps, it will be easier to resist impulse purchases, stick to a healthier diet, and avoid buying extra things you don't really need.
- Shopping with one or more children in tow: Sometimes it's impossible to make child care arrangements when you need to go food shopping. However, when you have kids with you constantly pleading to buy this or that, you'll probably say "yes" for every two times you say "no"! (If you've had a rough day or your resolve is low, the odds might be stacked more in favor of the kids!) The bottom line is that food shopping with children often adds quite a few dollars to your grand total.
- Not comparing prices: Since we're all "creatures of habit" and tend to switch to "autopilot" when we're doing routine tasks like grocery shopping, most people gravitate toward buying well-advertised name brands or products with misleading buzz words, like "new", "improved", "reduced", "natural", "fortified", "free", or "special". Sometimes those words do mean that you're getting more value, but most of the time, they're just marketing ploys. So it pays to read labels, compare prices, and make informed choices at the grocery store. You'd be surprised at how much money you can save by shopping more mindfully.
- Having an aversion to coupons: A lot of people have convinced themselves that discount coupons are more trouble than they're worth and that they really don't save that much money. Others have adopted the attitude that it's "beneath them" to clip and use supermarket coupons. One way to reframe the situation is to ask yourself how you'd feel if the store overcharged you $10 every time you shopped. While that's just a hypothetical scenario that would probably never happen, many people are unintentionally boosting their own grocery bill (sometimes by that much) by not using coupons -- especially at stores that offer double coupon value.
- Not buying in volume: The old cliché that things are "cheaper by the dozen" is as true today as it was generations ago. While it's not practical or cost effective to buy larger quantities of products that are going to spoil, expire, get stale, or become obsolete, it does make sense to selectively take advantage of volume discounts and two-for-the-price-of-one (BOGO) deals.
Living in the heart of a big city puts you moments away from major sports competitions, live theater, five-star restaurants and top paying businesses. Rent or buy a house in a major city and you won't have to worry about transportation. Cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Newark are connected via trains, subways, bus lines and international airports.
It's not all fun and games at the heart of a big city
Many people who live in these cities don't own a car. That's where you could definitely save money by renting an apartment or buying a house in the heart of a big city. Unfortunately, there may be more ways that you could lose money if you rent or own in these popular areas. To see if you're ready to head for the heart of town, consider these residential money guzzlers.
- City taxes - Ask around. You'll find that taxes in big cities are nothing to wink at. This includes property and income taxes. You could easily save four to five percent or more by moving outside a major city.
- Housing costs - Rents and mortgages are generally higher at the heart of a major city than they are in towns 20 or more miles away from downtown, uptown and midtown areas. A time when this isn't the case is if you move to a beach front home. Apartments and houses at the heart of cities like New York, Chicago and Miami are not cheap. You could save one hundred dollars or more a month on an apartment and thousands on a house if you choose a home away from hot spots.
- Lower food prices - Dining at a restaurant can cost less if you dine further away from town.
- Taxis - This includes traditional and newer taxi services like Uber and Lyft. Depending on how far you are going, hailing a taxi in a major city could run you $20 or more to travel less than 15 miles.
- Live entertainment - It's hard to turn away from live stage plays, outstanding jazz performances, indoor concerts and the chance to watch a professional sports game from box seats or the front row. Getting away from these entertainment temptations could encourage you to find fun ways to entertain yourself at home. It could also save you the $100 or more that you'd spend on a ticket and refreshments at a single live entertainment event in the heart of the city.
- Clothes - You certainly won't have to hunt for boutiques, malls and upscale shops if you move to the heart of a big city. Regularly shop at these stores and you could be out several hundred a year.
Moving further away from the center of a major town could save you money. You could yield bigger savings if you move to an area near public transportation. Taking public transportation can save you gas costs. It could also save you auto maintenance costs. Pull this off and you could save hundreds or more a year. You could also save thousands on a new house.