Tips, Tricks & Hacks

Home ownership tips, tricks and hacks to help you get the most out of your home ownership. 

Found 18 blog entries about Tips, Tricks & Hacks.

If you’re buying a home, you probably know that it’s not uncommon to negotiate for concessions prior to closing depending on a wide range of issues. But as a buyer, there are some things you should know before you begin this negotiation process. Here are some tips for buyers seeking concessions:

1. Concessions are commonly negotiated as a result of home inspection issues. Sellers don’t always know about problems in their home until an inspection turns up something amiss. If you’re buying a home and want to make sure you’re covered, do not waive your right to inspect the home! Additionally, consider specialized inspections for pools, septic systems, or specialized add-ons which regular inspections don’t necessarily cover.

2. Sometimes sellers will

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Recently I have had a couple of clients who have asked us to sell their home so they could downsize.

We had our initial consultation and we talked of the process the marketing and the preparation need to fetch top dollar in this market.

In each case the seller was very diligent in getting their do-do list completed. New granite, new carpet, fresh paint, taking care of some differed maintenance items.

The homes were perfectly prepared and ready for market. When offers came in I noticed a rigidity in them that was all too familiar. They began insisting on making minor points and nit picking every detail of the process to stall the actual signing and acceptance of the contract to sell. One, did this to the point that the buyer, out of frustration,

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I often work with clients who find themselves outgrowing their home. Sometimes these are couples who have welcomed their first child into the world, and other times it’s the simple accumulation of “stuff” over time which has crowded their house.

While I’m always glad to help homeowners make the “upgrade” to a bigger home (and now is a pretty good time to buy a lot of house for comparatively little money), I’m also interested in helping them make the most of the home they have today. Given the amount of time we spend in our homes, it makes sense to work towards a clutter-free, organized, peaceful environment.

Sometimes I work with clients who find the things they own have ended up “owning them.” What we own and what we actually use are often very

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As IsSometimes people inherit a home they simply need to unload and other times they don’t want to make the effort to make repairs or tune up the home’s curb appeal. For these home owners looking for a quick sale, they often think selling a home “as is” is the way to go. If you’re like most folks, you might think the “as is” sale means “take it or leave it” and “what you see is what you get.”

But an “as is” sale isn’t necessarily a cakewalk. It doesn’t mean you’re completely exonerated from taking some responsibility for the home’s condition. While advertising a home “as is” lets buyers know they’re likely to have to do some work, it also broadcasts that the home is probably going to be a relatively good deal, provided they’re willing to take on repairs.

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Do you believe your negative credit history disqualifies you from buying a home? That might not be the case. And even if you’re not in the position to buy today, there are some simple, effective actions you can take to boost your future prospects. 

If you’re like most people, buying a home means securing a mortgage. To secure that mortgage, you need to convince banks you’re a good bet. Here’s how to start on the path to making your dream home a real home:

1. Work towards a 10% down payment: Down payment assistance is very difficult to get without a credit score north of 640. So if you’re below the line, you’re going to help your odds of pre-approval by proving you have 10% down to put on your home. That 10% is especially helpful if your credit score

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White Picket FenceSummer is an ideal time to tackle outdoor renovation projects. From driveway paving to sidewalk repair, the fair weather can be an ideal time to not only enjoy the outdoors, but take some time to improve the curb appeal and value of your home.

One common outdoor project? A new fence. Whether you’re looking to install a decorative wooden garden fence, a chain link border for your pets, or a substantial privacy fence, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind before you begin:

1. A permit may be required for fence construction. These may be issued by your county or your city, depending on where you live.

2. The size of fence may dictate need for permit. Some communities do not require permits for smaller fences.

3. If your fence shares a

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If you’re home hunting in a competitive market, you’ve probably had the heartbreaking experience of losing out on a place you thought you would make your own. It can be frustrating and demoralizing to find out your offer was rejected in favor of another buyer. How can you do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

When a seller entertains multiple offers, it’s important to understand that many different factors are in play. If you’re an all-cash buyer you tend to have an advantage, as potential financing roadblocks are taken off the table. But if you’re like most people, paying cash for a house simply isn’t an option. What then?

First and foremost, make sure you have 100% of your financial house in order. This means pre-qualification for a

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Did you know it’s not uncommon for more than 20% of homes to have one unidentified water leak? Sometimes these leaks go on for years, completely unnoticed because homeowners inherit small leaks, assuming their water bill is normal. Other times, small water leaks are overlooked because owners assume the overall impact to their utilities is relatively small. But the truth is small leaks can add up hugely over time. Periodic inspection for leaks can help plug this problem at the source. Here are some ways to identify and address typical leaks:

1. Track your water bill over time. Most water bills will show your history for several months, if not year-over-year. While there are seasonal reasons for higher water use, especially if you water a lawn or garden,

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At times a close relative or confidant believes what is best for you is not quite aligned with your wants or needs.

While it is understood that they may have some valid fears or concerns, it’s important to understand that your agent has an obligation to represent your interests.

This includes identifying and recommending the best solutions available at the time in order to meet your needs as well as respecting your right to privacy.

Agents in Minnesota are contractually bound to their client, and not the client’s friends or relatives. It is an ethical and legal obligation that cannot be neglected or subverted.

If you are being unduly influenced by a close friend or family member I urge you to discuss any issues you have directly with them

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