Category: Housing market updates

Does the idea of making phone call after phone call to screen real estate agents, moving companies, and contractors fill you with dread? Screening moving professionals by phone isn’t just tedious work, it’s also risky. Without the ability to compare pros side-by-side, read reviews, and solicit quotes in a no-pressure setting, you’re more likely to make a hire you’ll ultimately regret. Instead of searching for pros the old-fashioned way, use these websites and smartphone apps to hire trustworthy, talented pros for your downsize.

 

General Downsizing Resources

 

Downsizing isn’t an “easy” process for anyone, but there are ways to make it less challenging. Learn different ways to plug technology into the process to help you streamline and reduce your stress levels:

 

Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving

Useful apps to help streamline each part of the moving process.

https://rismedia.com/2017/07/12/your-move-simplified-9-best-apps-moving/

 

Sell, Digitize, Organize, and Clean Up Your Junk with These Apps

Declutter your living space before putting your home on the market.

https://www.popsci.com/best-decluttering-apps/

 

Websites & Apps to Sell Stuff in Your Neighborhood

Learn where you can sell your stuff locally, and which websites charge commission and which don’t.

https://moneypantry.com/apps-to-sell-stuff-locally/#neighborhood

 

5 Steps to Prepare Your House for Sale

You want to sell your home for the best price; use this checklist to help make that happen. Don’t forget to plan each project in advance to give yourself time to complete (use your phone’s calendar and reminders to help keep to-dos on your radar).

https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/prepare-house-for-sale/

 

How to Take Real Estate Photos Worthy of a Magazine Spread

Learn tricks of the photography trade to ensure the photos of your home encourage (not discourage) potential buyers.

https://www.homelight.com/blog/how-to-take-real-estate-photos/

 

How to Sell Your House Online

Online visibility for your property is key since that’s the first place buyers look; learn about your options when it comes to selling your home online.

https://www.redfin.com/resources/how-to-sell-a-house-online

 

Senior-Specific Selling Resources

 

The downsizing process for seniors can be especially tricky, as it involves both physical and emotional challenges. Below, find resources specific to seniors going through the moving process.

 

How to Make Moving Easier for Seniors

Learn how to approach the moving process with sensitivity to ease the emotional tension involved.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-make-moving-easier-seniors.htm

 

How Technology Can Help Seniors

While some seniors embrace technology, others may run from it. Either way, technology can help during the move – plus, it can have many other benefits as well.

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-technology-can-help-seniors/

 

Relocation Technology: How the Modern Moving Process Works for You

This resource illustrates how modern technology can make the tasks involved with moving more of a minor inconvenience rather than a massive hurdle.

https://www.moving.org/relocation-technology-how-the-modern-moving-process-works-for-you/

 

Best Cell Phones, Plans, and Accessories for Seniors

If a technology purchase or upgrade is necessary for your senior, find out what phones, plans, and accessories are best suited.

https://www.verizonwireless.com/articles/best-cell-phones-plans-and-accessories-for-senior/

 

8 Assisted Living Search Mistakes to Avoid

If your loved one is downsizing to an assisted living facility, it’s important to prepare for the transition. Here you can learn from mistakes others made to ensure you don’t fall prey to the same issues.

https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/assisted-living-search-top-mistakes-to-avoid-1-22-13/

 

 

Regardless of whether you’re downsizing during your 20s or 60s, when you hire downsizing professionals, you entrust them with your home, your belongings, and your money. As such, shouldn’t you feel confident you’re hiring the right person for the job? Instead of choosing your hires based on proximity or price, use the above tools to find the best pros for your needs, budget, and vision. When you team up with the right moving and real estate professionals, you’ll waste no time selling your old house and settling into a downsized home.

 

Image via Rawpixel

Planning a major move that involves relocating to a new city? Being new in town can feel a little nerve-wracking at first, but there are actually some pretty simple ways to get settled fast. You can connect with new friends, make your home more comfortable, and maybe even find your new dream job just by paying attention to a few do’s and don’ts for your move, to help you make the most of this major life change.

 

Don’t Be in a Rush to Unpack Your Home

 

It may sound like the opposite of what you should do to feel at home, but when you move to a new town, you really should make getting out and exploring a priority over unpacking. Morning or evening strolls in different parts of the city can give you a great idea of what’s nearby. And you can stop by a local coffee shop for some caffeine and conversation with locals. While there, look for local newspapers or publications to get the scoop on your new town. So that unpacking doesn’t overwhelm you while you get to know your new home, use these packing tips before you move to make the task more manageable. This way you don’t feel trapped in your home for days and can spend more time getting to know your new city. (Read more about things to do in Naperville here.)

 

Do Update Your Auto Insurance Policy

 

The last thing you want when you move to a new state is to have a ticket spoil the experience. You can avoid the added cost and frustration by getting familiar with your new state’s insurance and registration laws. Certain policy minimums may apply and the rules around proof of coverage can be very different as well. So make sure your current policy matches state law so you don’t have to worry about a fine as you explore the local community.

(Read more about Illinois Auto Insurance Laws here.)

 

Don’t Forget to Help Your Dog Get Settled

 

Moving can be rough for dogs, which can lead to anxious behavior, like excessive barking. All that barking and nervousness can make a bad first impression on your new neighbors, so take some time to help your dog feel comfortable with your move. Take some time off work so you can spend the first few days helping your dog adjust and curb any unwanted behavior. When you both feel up to it, take your pup out on the town to help you meet new people.

(Read more about how to find local pet sitters here.)

 

Do Invite Neighbors Over for a Welcome Party

 

Making new friends with people in your new town is a great way to get settled, but you should also try to make connections with your neighbors too. You may luck out and get neighbors who introduce themselves to you, but often you will need to make the effort in order to get to know the people who live around you. A welcome party is a fun way to meet several neighbors at once, so consider hosting guests once you’re unpacked. If you have a party of the open house variety, this allows people to come and go at their leisure. Just keep the timeframe short and be sure to put out a variety of snacks and beverages.

(Find out more about Naperville grocery options here.)

 

Don’t Ignore Social Offers From Family and Friends

 

If you tell friends and loved ones you are moving to a new city, chances are they will have some connections there. So, if someone you know offers to connect you with a mutual friend or even a distant family member, take them up on it! This is an easy way to settle into a city without feeling alone and can help you make new friends faster. If you are still looking for a new job, you can also use your network to bolster your chances of snagging an interview and landing a job that you love. (Find out more about jobs in Naperville here.)

 

Moving to a new city can be an eye-opening experience, especially when you don’t know anyone there. You can use the tips above to make the most of your big move and quickly meet new people in the community. Before you know it, you will feel right at home!

 

Here are a few extra Naperville resources you may find helpful:

 

Naperville Area Schools

 

Family Doctors in Naperville

 

Naperville Dentists

 

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state.

Using data from HUD, Census and Apartment List, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense.

By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own.

According to the data, residents in Kansas can save for a down payment the quickest, doing so in just over 1 year (1.12). Below is a map that was created using the data for each state:

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3%-down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 2 to 5 years, but becomes possible in less than a year in most states, as shown on the map below.

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you have just begun to save for a down payment or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today. Call us!

Whether it is with the goal of saving money or for the satisfaction of living in the fruits of one’s labors, it has become increasingly popular for homeowners to take on home renovation projects themselves. One of the most common types of do-it-yourself projects is a bathroom remodel. Not only can bathroom remodels help to improve your overall quality of life, but they can also dramatically increase the value of your home if you ever decide to sell.

 

However, there are a number of potentially complicated or dangerous parts of every bathroom renovation, such as electrical and plumbing work, that you should be aware of before attempting the project. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are tackling a bathroom renovation for the first time so that your project can be quick, easy, and fun.

 

Plan out the Entire Project Beforehand

 

As with any kind of renovation, the first thing you need to do is plan out the scope of the entire project. The more you prepare, the fewer unexpected costs you will have to endure down the road. Start by listing all the things you would like to do to your bathroom. Don’t factor in cost at this point — instead, just list them all. You may want to include things like a walk in shower, a clawfoot tub, a heated floor, a double sink, and so forth.

 

Next, organize the list in order of desire — put your must-haves at the top, all the way down to negligible or “bonus” projects. Then, it is time to do some research online. Find the average costs of each type of project and put the numbers next to each line on your list. Finally, compare these costs to your total budget. This way, you can make sure that you have enough money for the most important projects, allowing for extras if you happen to come in under budget.

 

However, Remember to Have Fun

 

Even though it is tempting to get bogged down in the minutia of planning and money management, don’t let yourself forget to have fun. A bathroom remodel is a great way to boost your bathroom’s appeal, both for yourself and for potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home. For instance, a renovated bathroom can provide you with a 40 to 80 percent return on investment, depending on the current state of the real estate market.

 

Think About Ways to Come in Under Budget

 

It is common for do-it-yourself projects to end up going over budget, but there are a few things you can do that will keep your costs lower. First, if you need to buy power tools for your renovation, you may want to try borrowing them from a handy friend or family member. If you end up having to buy them after all, look at previously used tools to save money. Next, while part of the reason you may want to be doing the project yourself is to save on the cost of a professional, in certain cases, a professional can actually save you money, such as with walls damaged by water. Furthermore, certain plumbing and electrical projects can be dangerous for you to attempt on your own — always hire a professional contractor in those cases.

 

When you are renovating your bathroom, remember to consider all the possible angles that will need to be covered, both from the financial and design sides of the process. Doing so will allow you to relax and have fun with the project.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Thank you to guest writer, Erin Reynolds

CoreLogic broke down appreciation even further into four price ranges, giving us a more detailed view than if we had simply looked at the year-over-year increases in national median home price.

The chart below shows the four price ranges from the report, as well as each one’s year-over-year growth from February 2017 to February 2018 (the latest data available).

How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value Over the Last Year? | Keeping Current Matters

It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The location of your home is not the only factor that determines how much your home has appreciated over the course of the last year.

Lower-priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to list your home for sale in today’s market, find a local agent who can explain exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range. Like us!