Tips, Tricks, and Ideas

Blog articles written by HomeCity that showcase tips, tricks, and ideas for your home.

home buyers checklist

Buying a home (whether it’s your first home, you’re moving up, or you’re downsizing) can be an exciting yet complex experience. No matter how many times you’ve gone through the process, it’s handy to refresh your memory regarding the steps and best practices involved. 

Hiring an experienced agent can help guide you through the process fairly seamlessly, but it’s always best to be prepared. From figuring out your budget and down payment options, to choosing the perfect neighborhood, the home buying experience can be fun as long as you have a game plan. Follow these steps for an ideal home buying experience.

 

How much house can you afford?

This is a crucial first step in figuring out your housing situation. After all, you wouldn’t want to

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learning a secret early

If you’re interested in real estate, you may have heard the term ‘Coming Soon’ Listing or ‘Pocket Listing.' These listings are sort of like a presale for those in the listing agent’s circle. Having access to a Coming Soon listing gives those in the agent’s circle exclusive access to a home before it’s technically on the market.

 

It’s important for home buyers and sellers to have an understanding of how important these early listings are, and how they can help clients achieve their goals faster while providing a competitive advantage. We asked our agents to share their opinions and stories about how Coming Soon listings have played to their advantage.

 

“Marketing a listing as Coming Soon helps generate buzz about the property before going

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Deep in the heart of Texas, the stars at night are big and bright. Unfortunately, Texas is also the place where rent prices are big and bright. How do we know this? No, not from a country song. RENTCafé created a top of the priciest ZIP codes for renters in Texas. According to the study, renters in Austin pay the most for an apartment, followed by those in Dallas and Houston.

Here’s how much rent costs in the top 10 most expensive ZIP codes in Texas: 

 Most expensive zip codes in texas

 

 

The average rent in each of the 50 priciest ZIP codes in the state is above the national average, which hovers right above $1,300/month, but rent growth is slowing down. Compared to last year, rent rose in less than half of the 50 ZIP codes that were analyzed. As a matter of fact, prices

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downsizing your home or apartment

Let’s face it – our society values an accumulation of ‘stuff.' We’re taught from a young age that a house full of hard-earned items is equivalent with success. This can make it stressful to downsize, even when it’s desperately needed.

Downsizing and de-cluttering your space can feel refreshing and liberating! Whether you’re moving to a smaller home, or just simply looking to de-clutter, taking the plunge to throw away your earthly possessions is sometimes necessary. Sometimes there are clothes you’ve never worn or gifts that were never used, or simply something you just haven’t looked at in a few months! Whatever it may be – it has to go.

We caught up with Mary from Creating Mary’s Home, a professional organizer, and de-cluttering expert. She

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exchanging money for a house

There is a lot more to buying and selling a home than many people realize. No matter which side of the transaction you are on, it’s imperative that you have an ally by your side to guide you through the process. That ally is your real estate agent!

These professionals have been through the process many times and can help you understand what you want and how to get it. Agents not only know how to correctly price a home and prepare it for sale, but they often know a lot of information about the school districts and neighborhoods clients are hoping to buy in. They can be an invaluable source of information, and save their clients hours of work and tons of stress throughout the home buying or selling process.

Traditionally, a home seller pays agent

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When inspecting a prospective new home, it’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs that the house has irreparable issues. While there are common warning signs of a bad deal, there are also a variety of ‘sneaky issues’ that can fly relatively under the radar.

We asked our agents what they tell their clients to look out for when searching for a new property. What they came back with was advice on not only physical issues in a home but also common things to avoid during the home buying process.

Your agent should be educating you on the following pitfalls, but just in case they aren’t, here are our top 10 things to avoid when purchasing a home.

 

1. Don’t compromise because of a time

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mowing the lawn

Texas Summers can get downright miserable, upwards of 100 degrees and humid. It’s not uncommon to see lawns suffering in the dead of summer, especially during times of drought. While we’ve been pretty lucky with the amount of rain received lately, it’s never a bad idea to begin preparing your lawn early for the harsh summer ahead. We caught up with lawn care expert Jake Hill from LawnStarter Lawn Care, who shared his tips and best practices for keeping a healthy lawn all year round. 

 

Summer lawn care begins in the spring. Jake advises that about once every other year, homeowners should aerate their lawn to alleviate soil compaction and thus allow their lawn to breathe. “Just like a person – grass needs air, food, and water to survive (and the

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millennials financial planning

As more millennials graduate college and begin to plan out their lives, buying a house seems like the logical next step to many. However, saving up for a mortgage down payment, as well as planning out future spending habits have left some younger buyers hesitant, and many don’t know where to start when it comes to owning a home. Deciding whether or not to buy, as well as how to save once you do decide to buy can be frustrating and scary. 

Planning out your financial situation and saving up for a down payment are key. While there are some ways to put in less than the recommended 20 percent for a down payment, such as an FHA loan, investing that full 20 percent or more can have a significant impact on your monthly payments, as well as take some of

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home improvements that add property value

When preparing to sell your home, or simply trying to give it a facelift, it’s common to wonder what updates will provide the most return on investment. Which improvements or additions will add to your home's property value and equity? After all, if you’re going to put in the money to improve your home, you will want to know that your efforts could provide a return in the long run.

It’s smart to be thinking about the future equity of your home, and these are questions our agents here at HomeCity get asked a lot. There is no one, go to upgrade that will work in every situation and with every budget. However, here are some of our top suggestions – straight from the experts themselves!

Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms. Remodeling the kitchen and

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millennial homebuyers buy their first house

Recently millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, surpassed baby boomers as the largest share of homebuyers according to the 2015 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. Overcoming generational hurdles like crippling student debt, post-recession low salaries and a more unstable lifestyle, more and more young people are entering the housing market. In fact, millennials are expected to form 20 million new households by 2025. While it’s perceived that millennials are postponing home ownership, studies show that over 49% of young renters say that their next move would likely be to own a home.

It can be scary to make such a large purchase, especially when you’re just starting your adult financial journey. However, knowing what to expect

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