Elaine Pavasaris' Blog
A homebuying negotiation may cause your stress levels to rise. However, as you work toward purchasing your dream house, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways that you can limit stress as you finalize a home purchase, including:
1. Discuss Your Homebuying Concerns with Family Members and Friends
Family members and friends offer plenty of support. Thus, these loved ones are happy to listen to you and help you in any way possible, no matter what happens during a homebuying negotiation.
Don't be afraid to ask family members and friends for homebuying advice, either. These loved ones may be able to share their past homebuying negotiation experiences with you. And by doing so, your family members and friends could provide you with valuable insights that may help you move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.
2. Consider the Big Picture
Buying a home likely will be one of the biggest transactions that you'll complete in your lifetime. At the same time, it is important to note that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Therefore, you should try to remember that even if a home purchase agreement falls through, dozens of high-quality houses are still available in cities and towns nationwide.
Sometimes, it helps to take a step back during a homebuying negotiation. If you can inhale and try to relax, you may be better equipped than ever before to stay calm, cool and collected during a negotiation. With a fresh perspective, you could boost the likelihood of coming to terms with a seller and finalizing a home purchase agreement.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to purchasing a house, there is no need to embark on the homebuying journey alone. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive expert support as you navigate the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent understands the stress associated with purchasing a house and will do everything possible to help you alleviate your homebuying worries. He or she can explain the homebuying process and respond to any concerns or questions. Plus, a real estate agent can negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you get the best price on your dream residence.
Furthermore, a real estate agent provides support after a seller accepts your offer to purchase a residence. A real estate agent will help you set up a home inspection, conduct this inspection with you and ensure you can complete a full review of the inspection results. In addition, a real estate agent can help you prepare for a home closing and ensure you can finalize a home purchase as quickly as possible.
There is no need to let stress get the best of you during a homebuying negotiation. By using the aforementioned tips, you can keep your stress levels in check as you negotiate a home purchase and accelerate the process of purchasing your dream home.
You've assessed your budget, changed your habits, and made spending cuts but you still need to reach your down payment faster. Consider these significant steps to help you get there.
- Take on a second part-time job. If your work schedule allows you to add a second job find a part-time option that will enable you to earn one or two thousand dollars more each month. If you are part of a couple, each partner can get a light part-time job without feeling overloaded. Bonus—occupying your time more does help lead to less spending and more saving! Tutor students, pet sit, or take a steady part-time gig!
- Move back home, move in with extended family, or get a roommate. If your family is on board with the changes you need to make to meet your financial goals, consider moving in with someone in your family to pay lower rent and save tens of thousands over one year. If family help isn't an option, consider getting a roommate or moving into a two-bedroom apartment and adding a roommate to lower your monthly rent.
- Review your belongings for big-ticket items you can sell. Do you live in an area with excellent public transportation? Consider selling your expensive, gas-guzzling car or getting out of your costly lease. Do either you or your spouse work at home, but you both own a car? See if you can help fund your savings by downsizing to one vehicle for the next year to save more.
- Sell unworn jewelry and have broken pieces melted down for cash.
- Skip vacations for a year, or even two! And during your vacation time, take on an extra job so when you head back to work you’ve earned a bit chunk to add to your savings kitty.
- If your owning a home in the near future is a top priority, take a break from your retirement fund at work and redirect those funds into your savings account. (Only take this step if you are completely committed to reaching your down payment goal within a year or two at most since you lose the value of compounding those funds toward your retirement for the life of the account.
- Direct all your tax refund and any annual bonuses into your savings!
Remember, this isn’t a forever deal. You’re not signing on for an austere life ongoing. It’s just temporary to reach a goal. Your real estate professional can help you get started by determining how much you need to set aside for your down payment.
If you’ve spent any time watching popular fixer-upper or remodeling shows lately, you've experienced the drama of suddenly discovering that the most critical aspect of your open floor plan is actually a load-bearing wall.
Stop the cameras! Hold everything! Call the engineer!
The engineer? Why do you need to call an engineer?
To you, and most homeowners (and potential homeowners) removing a wall that's in the way seems like a simple thing. In fact, it appears so prevalent in most on-screen renovations that it's an expected and accepted part of most designs. Then, you remember those instances where demolition began with tearing out cabinets and kicking in the drywall only to hear that "Uh-oh! Houston, we have a problem! Call the engineers!”
Leave the drama for your Momma!
All homes have load-bearing walls. Load-bearing means that it carries and distributes the weight of what is above it and resting on it. The home's designers should have engineered these walls to carry the load safely. So, if you have a roof, the walls holding up the roof are load-bearing. If you have a second floor, a stairwell, a basement … you have extra load-bearing walls. While it seems as if they are always surprised on those television shows, most of that is for dramatic effect. After all, television is entertainment, not real life.
When it comes to your home, learn how to identify load-bearing walls before you take the sledgehammer to them. You don’t want that house to come tumbling down around your ears (or on top of your head), or the roof to cave in. If you follow these pointers and you’re still uncertain if your wall is structurally necessary, call a structural engineer for advice.
- Understand that most exterior walls are load-bearing. Even if they don't hold anything else up, they hold the roof up. If your home was remodeled in the past so that an outside wall became an inside wall, it remains a load-bearing wall.
- Look at ground level and determine the lowest point. If you have a basement, the lowest point is in the basement. If you have a slab, the lowest point is the slab. If you have a raised foundation, the lowest point will be any pillars under the house. Once you’ve found the lowest point, look for any walls whose beams attach directly into the foundation. Assume these carry a load. Do not remove them without advice from an engineer on alternatives to carry the weight.
- Look for beams or joists. These may be wood or metal and run the length or width of your home. You will find them under the floor and above the highest ceiling (in the attic). They are also in-between floors, but more difficult to see. If beams or joists span across a wall, that wall is bearing the load of the beam or joist. Do not remove it. Unless the room is unfinished, drywall or other wallboard or paneling covers most interior load-bearing walls making it difficult to find them.
- If beams or joists are perpendicular to a wall, that means they use the walls to transfer the weight of the floor above (a second floor or attic, for example).
The walls you may safely remove are non-load-bearing. Often, referred to as “curtain walls,” their purpose is to divide rooms and create the floorplan around the load-bearing ones.
If you are unable to see the beams or joists, refer to structural plans filed with your municipality's building department. If those aren't available ... call the engineer!