So, you’ve decided that the time is right to make a move towards seeking your forever home or your right-sized home. And you’ve made the choice to build, which brings excitement, anticipation and perhaps a good amount of complexity as you prepare to place your current home on the market. The timing of your home sale and home purchase may not organically line up in an ideal manner. You are, after all, at the mercy of the market. But there are some things you can do to help prepare for a smooth move into your brand-new space and a sweet farewell to your former abode so you don’t find yourself in between a mortgage and a mortgage. You are familiar with the common suggestions for how to beautify and improve the show quality of your home such as amping up the curb appeal, removing clutter and personal items and even professionally staging and photographing your home. Let’s move beyond these worthy tips and take an in-depth look at the multifarious position that is selling while building.
Here are 7 tips to help limit the unwelcome bumps in your timeline and your budget with just a little preparation and due diligence.
- Understand The Market: Being knowledgeable on the market trends for both your current neighborhood and the one in which you are building is a key component of your strategy. Keep abreast of comps and recent sales so you know what to expect when it comes time to discuss pricing your home. If there have been recent improvements to your neighborhood or nearby schools, keep a list of these selling features to provide to your agent and appraiser. A general rule of thumb is that the Spring and Summer months are the optimal time to sell, but if the market favors buyers, is saturated with nearby sellers or is anticipating upcoming shifts, you may choose to alter your timeline.
- Know Your Timeline: Realtor.com provides that the median time on the market for a home is 65 days from listing until closing. Variables are guaranteed and you should be prepared for your home to sell quickly or to take longer than expected. Your agent will help advise on the proper time to list considering the build-out time on your new home. If you have opportunity for a quick and favorable sale, or you need the money from your sale for the purchase your new home (affecting your debt-to-income ratio), a short-term rental home may be an avenue to consider. A NewStyle Communities home build-out is approximately 5 months, giving you time to prepare your home for selling, formulate your timeline and to take on the steps below.
- Find The Right Agent: When it comes to selecting a real estate professional, it is paramount to lead with your head and not your heart. We all may have a friend or former roommate that has a blossoming new career in Real Estate, but they should not necessarily be your first or even second choice. It is wise to get list prices from several agents, to read reviews and to make certain that your professional has an online presence. Ask your candidates if they are familiar with the positive qualities of your home and your neighborhood. Make certain that they are active on professional and business related social media sites and plan on marketing your property effectively online.
- Know Your Builder: Floor plans, design options and build-out times are not the only things you’ll need to know about your builder. The topic of fees should come up early in your budget planning. The type of loan you may be expected to obtain for the build or the fees that will show up throughout the process need to be discussed. Some builders ask for a deposit to begin your build, more at the design consultation and even more as various milestones are met within the process. Your meeting with a NewStyle Communities team member will have you counting only on one finger and resting easy. We obtain a one-time deposit fee to begin your build and nothing else until your closing. NewStyle bears the burden of the construction loan as well so you are ensured to not encounter any unknown money hassles.
- Get Friendly With Your Bank: Your mortgage professional will become your intimate friend as you divulge the ins and outs of your financial footing. You will need to know your options for loans, especially if you are still paying an active mortgage for your current home. To find out which loans you quality for without obtaining the equity from your home sale, your lender will need to take a look at your debt-to-income ratio. Most people can’t afford to pay for two mortgages at the same time or buy a home with cash, but there are several types of loans that help you cover the costs of purchasing a home while you are still paying the mortgage on your old one. Ask your lender about a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or the helpful but somewhat difficult to obtain bridge loan to help you through this short-term state.
- Prepare For Your Appraisal: There are easy ways to improve the appraisal value for your home that will not break the bank or surpass the layman’s home improvement skill set. For all of those professional repairs and improvements you’ve done throughout the years, here’s the time to let them shine. Discover.com gives the following helpful tips:
- Unmade beds or a few dirty dishes won’t affect your value, but plaster cracks, water-stained walls, soiled carpeting, pests, or persistent odors might. Patch the walls and do other touch up work to put your best face forward.
- Appraisers often value houses in $500 increments, so if there’s a repair over $500 that can or should be made, do it. Fix leaky faucets, broken windows and cracked ceilings.
- Check your curb appeal. Overgrown landscaping and broken garage doors will work against you and your appraisal—especially if property values have declined in the neighborhood. Take the time to make the outside of your home look welcoming, like someplace you’d want to buy or visit.
- Itemize your improvements. Jot down the repairs and updates you’ve made over the years, when you did them and how much they cost. Remember the items that an appraiser might not notice, like a new roof or insulation—and even minor items like a new kitchen sink count too. Please note that improvements do not represent a dollar for dollar increase in value, but every little bit helps!
- Display your neighborhood pride. If there have been positive changes to your neighborhood—like new schools or new roads—let the appraiser know.
- Don’t show your age. The newer your home appearsto be—regardless of its actual age—the better. Bring carpet, tile, windows and other permanent fixtures into the 21st century.
- Prepare For Your Inspection:The last thing you’ll want to deal with when it is inspection time and you’ve finally arrived at some offers are unsightly or overlooked issues that may cost you time or money. Lisa Edgington Zederbaum of Willow Oak Realtors in Charlotte gives these tips that are proven to ease you past common snags in the inspection process:
- Clean out the gutters. Full gutters cause problematic water drainage and because of close proximity to the foundation, water damage to the crawl space or foundation itself often ensues. It’s an easy fix.
- Make sure bushes are cut back away from house to further prevent moisture from collecting on the outside of the home. The recommended barrier for landscaping is 1 to 1.5 feet away from exterior walls.
- Tighten up. Ensure that toilets are affixed tightly on the floor and tighten any loose electrical receptacles (plug covers) around the house. I see these on almost every inspection report!
Although selling factors and other uncertainties may cause you to adjust your plan, we at NewStyle Communities work to the best of our abilities to make sure you have confidence in us as your builder. We understand that when it comes to building your new home, there are necessary provisions and actions that can play a mean game of Badminton with your wallet and your emotions. Our vision at NewStyle Communities is to provide our active adult residents with a quality, maintenance-free lifestyle in a superb and convenient location. Soon, the stresses of your move will evaporate into the enjoyment of your welcoming community and your newly acquired time. Age targeted building is exactly what we do and it is all that we do, so we are equipped to help you as you move from your well-loved home into the forever home you’ve earned.