Mark Uppendahl's Blog
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.
A property deed is used to transfer the title of the property of a grantor (the seller) to a grantee (the buyer). For the deed to be active, certain conditions must be set in place. The property must have a complete and accurate description. The buyer and seller must also be clearly identified. This formulation is due to the fact that a deed is a signed legal document.
The deed has a few important requirements for it to be valid and legal. First, the deed must be in writing. Next, the grantor must have some sort of a legal capacity (represented by a lawyer) and the grantee must have the competent ability to receive the property grant. Finally, the deed must actually be accepted by the grantee.
Although this process sounds complicated, it’s usually prepared ahead of time and done at the closing of a property transaction. Different states have different rules and procedures that allow for the transfer of ownership of property, so be sure to check on the specifics in your area.
Different Types Of Deeds
There are many different kinds of deeds. Deeds can be official or private. The type of deed that we are specifying here is known as “official” since the transaction is executed in agreement with legal proceedings. This is just one reason why every home buyer, no matter where you live, is important. Deeds are typically characterized by the type of warranty that they carry.
General Warranty Deeds
These deeds actually offer the grantee the largest amount of protection. The grantor of this deed makes a series of promises that protect the grantee from prior claims and demands to the land. This document would state that the property is free of liens, unless specifically stated on the deed itself. This also protects the grantee (the buyer) from a defective title. This is the most desirable type of deed.
Special Warranty Deeds
A special warranty deed defends the title of the home. The grantor certifies that they have received the title to the property and that nothing has happened while the title has been in their possession that would create a major defect on the property. This means that only defects that occurred on the property while the grantor owned it are valid. This provides less protection than a general warranty deed does. Many buyers will insist that they have a general warranty deed instead in order to feel protected in the property transaction.
Other Types Of Deeds To Be Aware Of
- Quitclaim deed
- Special purpose deeds
- Executor’s deed
- Administrator's deed
- Sheriff’s deed
- Tax deed
- Deed of gift
As a homeowner, much of the legal jargon that’s involved in the transfer of title isn’t something that you need to study up on. The important thing to know is that the deed is the means of the transfer of title. The deed must also meet certain conditions for it to be legally binding. The type of deed that you have determines the type of protection that the deed provides. A qualified real estate attorney should be consulted regarding all legal matters in the home buying and selling process.
If you want to quickly find and acquire your dream house, it generally is beneficial to narrow your property search. Because if you focus on available homes in a select group of cities and towns, you may be able to speed up the process of buying your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you locate your dream home.
1. Consider Your Short and Long-Term Aspirations
Think about where you want to be in the next few years. Then, you can map out your home search based on your short- and long-term goals.
For instance, if you currently work in a big city and intend to stay with your company for many years, you may want to search for a residence in the city itself. Or, if you plan to start a family soon, you may want to focus on houses near parks and schools.
You should try to be flexible as you begin a home search too. Remember, even the best-laid plans won't necessarily come to fruition. But if you maintain flexibility, you could find a home that will suit you perfectly both now and in the future.
2. Create a Budget
The homes in large cities tend to be more expensive than those in small towns. Fortunately, if you craft a homebuying budget, you can determine where you can afford to reside and plan accordingly.
Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about myriad home financing options. Next, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with home financing in hand.
If you have concerns as you pursue a mortgage, don't hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ expert mortgage specialists, and these professionals are happy to provide you with the insights you need to make an informed home financing decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you are uncertain about how to approach a home search, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you identify your dream residence.
A real estate agent is dedicated to client satisfaction, and he or she will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. First, a real estate agent will help you narrow your house search. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date about available homes in your preferred cities and towns. Once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence. Finally, when you are ready to close on a house, a real estate agent will help you complete your home purchase.
Dedicate time and resources to find your dream house – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can accelerate the process of locating your ideal residence and acquire a house that can serve you well for years to come.
After you complete a home showing, you may face a dilemma. If you like a house following a showing, you may want to set up a follow-up showing or submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you are dissatisfied with the results of a home showing, you may want to continue your house search.
It helps to know what to expect after you attend a house showing. Because if you know what to do following a showing, you may be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you make the best-possible decision about a house following a showing.
1. Assess the Pros and Cons of a House
Performing a comprehensive home analysis is a must after a showing. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of a residence and decide whether a house is right for you.
Think about how you felt as you walked through each room of a house. If you can envision yourself as the owner of a home, you may want to move sooner rather than later to submit an offer to purchase.
Conversely, if you find a house is in need of major repairs or simply does not suit your lifestyle, you should not hesitate to continue your house search. With a diligent approach to home evaluations, you should have no trouble discovering your dream residence in the foreseeable future.
2. Consider the Next Step in Your Homebuying Journey
When it comes to finding the perfect residence, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. And if you have a plan in place for what to do after a home showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.
For example, a home seller could accept a rival buyer's offer to purchase before you have time to consider your options following a showing. But if you have a backup plan in place, you can move quickly to continue your homebuying journey, regardless of how a showing pans out.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about the best course of action at a home showing's conclusion, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This will enable you to gain expert insights into the housing market and make an informed decision about how to proceed with a particular residence.
A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. Following a home showing, a real estate agent can meet with you and help you review all of the options at your disposal. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will make it easy to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.
There is no need to worry about what to do after a house showing. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision following a home showing.
Selling a home can be quick and seamless, particularly for an individual who crafts a property selling blueprint. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you create a successful plan to sell your house.
1. Analyze the Local Housing Market
A seller who understands the housing market in his or her city or town may be better equipped than other sellers to achieve the optimal results during the property selling journey. In fact, this seller can use various housing market data and insights to make informed decisions time and time again.
For a home seller, it is important to review the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. This individual also should find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.
Furthermore, a home seller should look at the prices of comparable houses in his or her city or town. This housing market data will enable a house seller to see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and prepare accordingly.
2. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
Consider what separates your home from other houses in your area. This will allow you to explore ways to showcase your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.
Look at your house from the buyer's perspective and think about why a buyer may choose to purchase your residence. Then, you can craft a buyer-centric home selling blueprint designed to stir up lots of interest in your home.
It may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. By performing a home inspection, you can learn about any underlying house issues. You next can address these issues before you add your house to the real estate market.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a must-hire for a home seller who is unsure about how to create a successful property selling blueprint, and for good reason. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the real estate market and home selling journey. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the property selling cycle.
In addition, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your residence. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers, set up property showings and open house events and much more. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.
Ready to list your home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can develop a home selling blueprint and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.