Thinking About Buying A Home? Improve Your Credit Score With These Tips

Your credit score plays a key role in the homebuying process. Having a high credit score can help you score a lower interest rate on your mortgage—which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.

But if you have a less-than-perfect credit score, there’s no reason to panic! There are steps you can take to increase your credit score—and snag the lower interest rates that come along with it.

A recent article from Apartment Therapy outlined five key strategies to improving your credit score, including:

  • Paying your bills on time, all the time;
  • Keeping credit card balances low;
  • Auditing your credit report on a regular basis (and correcting any mistakes);
  • Limiting hard inquiries; and
  • Giving your score time to grow

The Takeaway:

Bottom line? If you make these five strategies a rule, your credit score will improve—and you’ll be able to save money on your mortgage as a result.

January Expected To Be An Active Time For Homebuyers To Start Looking

The temperatures may be dropping outside—but for house hunters, things are just about to start heating up.

recent analysis from realtor.com found that while most people believe spring to be the hottest season for homebuyers, house hunters are starting their search earlier in the year—and January has become one of the most active times of the year for potential buyers on the market for a new home.

20 out of the 100 largest metros in the US saw their highest number of listing views online in January 2019 (based on average monthly views per listing on realtor.com 2015 to 2019)—compared to just three in 2018. And according to the realtor.com team, this trend is poised to continue in January 2020.

“As shoppers modify their strategies for navigating a housing market that has become more competitive due to rising prices and low inventory, the search for a home is beginning earlier and earlier,” said realtor.com® Senior Economist George Ratiu in the analysis’ press release. “With housing inventory across the U.S. expected to reach record lows in 2020, we expect to see this trend continue into the new year.”

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re thinking about buying a home in 2020, don’t wait until spring to start your search—because as it turns out, January is the perfect season for house hunting! And, if you’re thinking about selling, it’s not a bad idea to get your house on the market before the actual Spring market.

7 Expert Moving Tips To Make Your Winter Move Fast and Easy

 

Winter is a great time to buy a home — there’s less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday!

But moving in the winter? Not so great.

There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather.

But it’s not impossible! Here are seven expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it):

1. Keep an eye on the forecast

This one should go without saying, but if you’re planning on moving during the winter months, it’s extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day.

If there’s a significant amount of snow forecasted – the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe – consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck.

2. Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)

One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it’s a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services.

But if you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it’s super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there’s no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned.

You don’t want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.

3. Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter

Moving in winter is tough.

But you know what makes it tougher?

Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around.

If you’re a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.

4. Start your move as early as possible

Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter.

Because there’s fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you’ll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out.

Even if you’re not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.

5. Protect your floors

If there’s snow on the ground, that means when you move, you’re going to get snow on your shoes. And, eventually, that will mean snow (and water) all over your nice, new floors.

You don’t want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day (or the ground is wet from a previous storm), lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.

6. Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place…

Before you move, make sure you’ve switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat!

7. But turn it off during the move

That being said, turn your heat off during the actual move. As you move things in and out, all the heat will escape through the door, which will not only make it cold inside, but will also stick you with a hefty energy bill.

Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you’ll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time!

5 Tips For Selling Your Home Around Thanksgiving

    The majority of people think the best time to sell a home is during the summer. Children are out of school which makes it much easier for parents to relocate and start a new life in their new home. In actuality more than half of homebuyers do not have children or have children that are out of the house. There are far less numbers of homes for sale during the holidays which makes the demand for a quality home that much higher.

    1. Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority.

    By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, trees have started to lose their leaves. This makes maintaining the exterior of your even more of a priority. Bare trees result in a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of leaves.

    2. Avoid Clutter at All Costs.

    Family visiting during Thanksgiving can add quite a bit of clutter to the home. In the case that a potential buyer wants to view the home, eliminating this clutter couldn’t be more important. If family has taken over a bedroom that’s usually used for storage, it can be wise to invest in a storage unit. These are not expensive and can be rented for a month or two while the home is on the market. Clutter decreases the perceived size of the home which could be a deciding factor whether a buyer puts an offer in or continues their search.

    3. Appeal to the Buyer’s Imagination.

    Creating a warm atmosphere during Thanksgiving and the holidays when your home is being sold can do a couple of things. The potential buyers could imagine themselves celebrating their own Thanksgiving in the home. This isn’t the time to put up huge amounts of decorations but rather enough to get into the spirit of the season. Warm colors should be abundant and those quirky holiday decorations that some families put up in their homes during certain holidays should be kept in the attic.

    4. Price The Home To Sell.

    Pricing the home to sell during the holidays is extremely important. If you accepted a new job and need to relocate by the end of the year this multiplies in importance. Many buyers if in the same situation will want to put an offer in around the Thanksgiving holiday. This will reduce the stress of trying to find a home during the Christmas holidays when many people travel for extended periods. Closing quickly will also allow you to write off closing costs during this year’s tax season.

    5. Select an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

    Picking the right agent is important regardless of what time of year that it is. During the holidays it’s more important as many facets of selling a home can be impacted by the holiday breaks. I’d love the opportunity to earn your business!

    Remember: Selling your home during the Thanksgiving and holiday season isn’t impossible. Taking care of the small details leading up to the sale will only increase your chances of considering offers with your turkey dinner. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck selling this holiday season!

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    One bedroom, one bath balcony unit in sought after Atrium! Fantastic location less than 2 miles from Georgetown and one block from Rosslyn Metro Station.

    Bedroom features large windows and three closets. 

    Amenities include outdoor pool, tennis courts, gym, concierge desk, and bbq area. Dry cleaners  located in building. Condo dues include water and internet. 

    Offered for $387,000 **Under Contract**

    Presented by Meghan Pachas, Principal Broker

    MAP Property Solutions LLC