For better or for worse, we're about to kiss 2017 goodbye! With 2018 just days away, it's the perfect time to think about New Year's resolutions. If your goals include buying or selling a home, we have some tips to help you do it the right way.
Hoping to buy a home this year? These suggestions can help you make your dreams a reality.
Create a buying timeline and work towards your goal.
Stay on top of your credit scores and work to improve your rating little by little.
If you haven't already started saving for a downpayment, do it now!
Start the loan pre-approval process with a lender you trust.
Meet with a real estate agent to determine your next steps.
Create a list of the wants, needs, and must-haves in a new home.
If your 2018 plans include putting your home on the market, read below!
Create a selling timeline to work towards having your home ready for market.
Make a list of home improvements and a plan on how to manage them. Take stock of what needs to be accomplished in each room as far as repairs, painting, and updates go.
Declutter your home!
Get in touch with a real estate agent who specializes in home sales.
Even if you don't plan on moving in 2018, it's always smart to stay on top of your home. You can increase your home equity with some of our tips below.
Take advantage of low interest rates by refinancing to a lower rate
Consider refinancing to a shorter term loan
Make extra payments on your principal by using your tax refund, cash gift, work bonuses or other sources of "extra" income.
Pay biweekly instead of once a month. Making a payment every two weeks can substantially reduce the amount of interest you pay because you are breaking the interest accrual down from 30 days to every 15.
Pay a little extra each month when you can.
Investing In Your Home
You can add a lot of value and additional enjoyment to your home by investing in improvements and upgrades.
Choose a home improvement project that will yield a good return on investment when you do choose to sell.
Create a home checklist to track maintenance projects over the year and keep your home at its best all year long.
The right kind of "green" improvements can increase your homes value and save you money in the long run. Consider:
Upgrade furnace to an efficient model
Upgrade windows for better insulation
Add alternative energy resources, such as solar power
Update toilets and showers to low-flow
Install a programmable thermostat
Update to energy-efficient appliances