Mary Ann Toohey - The Maricopa Real Estate Co | Maricopa, AZ Real Estate


Curb appeal, aka the overall attractiveness of your house to prospective homebuyers, often plays an important role in the home selling process. For instance, a house with a neat, clean front lawn likely has greater curb appeal than a residence surrounded by an overgrown front lawn, and for good reason. As a home seller, you want your residence to sell as quickly as possible. And in order to accomplish this goal, you'll need to spend some time boosting your house's curb appeal to make your residence attractive to prospective homebuyers. Fortunately, there are many quick, simple ways to boost your home's curb appeal, including: 1. Focus on the Roof Is your roof missing shingles? If so, you'll want to repair or replace defective shingles immediately, because failure to do so may lead homebuyers to consider alternatives. Also, don't forget to clean your roof if its shingles look dreary and streaked, as this can help you enhance your home's curb appeal instantly. 2. Spruce Up the Front Porch Setting up a few plants on your front porch can help give your home a warm, inviting feel. Thus, when homebuyers pass by, plants may help draw attention to your house over others. Typically, colorful flowers are great for a front porch. These flowers are easy to set up in a porch container or window box and will enable you to add a splash of color to your home's front porch. 3. Open the Curtains Give homebuyers a glimpse into your home's interior by keeping the curtains, shades or blinds open. By doing so, you'll be able to let light shine through your home during the day, and ultimately, boost your home's appearance to homebuyers as they pass by your residence. Of course, try to be consistent with your window treatments. And if you open the curtains for one window, be sure to open the curtains for all of them to give your home a uniform appearance. 4. Install Light Fixtures Around Your Lawn Increasing your house's curb appeal during the day is great, but how can you ensure that homebuyers can get a better idea about the quality of your house at night? That's easy – install light fixtures around your lawn, and homebuyers should have no trouble viewing your home at any time. Lawn light fixtures usually can be installed in just minutes and are simple to use. Plus, these light fixtures allow you to showcase your house's landscaping, walking paths and other excellent attributes. 5. Consider the Homebuyer's Point of View If you were a homebuyer, what would you say about your house's exterior? Considering the homebuyer's point of view is valuable and can help you better understand your home's strengths and weaknesses. Working with a real estate agent may enable you to identify and address homebuyers' needs as well. This professional will collaborate with you throughout the home selling process and can provide plenty of outstanding insights that you can use to improve your home's appearance without delay. Dedicate time and resources to enhance your house's curb appeal, and you should have no trouble generating interest in your residence as soon as it hits the real estate market.

If you get an offer to buy your house, there is no need to make a snap decision. Instead, it generally is a good idea to allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze an offer and determine the best course of action.

Ultimately, there are lots of reasons why you should analyze a home offer, and these include:

1. You can boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your house.

An offer may fall at, above or below your house's initial asking price. However, regardless of the offer that you receive, it pays to perform a full evaluation to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.

For many home sellers, it is beneficial to conduct a home appraisal prior to listing a residence. That way, when a home offer arrives, a seller can compare the proposal to a property valuation and proceed accordingly.

2. You can weigh the pros and cons of all of your options.

Let's face it – deciding whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal can be tough. Luckily, analyzing an offer enables you to weight the pros and cons of each option, making it easier than ever before to make an informed choice.

Oftentimes, creating a list of pros and cons can be helpful. This list will enable you to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each potential home selling decision. Then, you can use your list to guide the decision-making process.

3. You can receive expert housing market insights before you finalize your decision.

Imagine what it would be like to take a data-driven approach to decide whether to approve a homebuying proposal. Now, you can, thanks to the wealth of housing market data that is readily available to sellers.

As a home seller, you should have no trouble examining the prices of comparable houses that recently sold in your city or town. You then can use this housing market data to determine whether a proposal is "fair" based on the current real estate market's conditions.

Of course, as you assess a home offer, it often helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows exactly what it takes to sell a house – regardless of the real estate market's conditions. As such, he or she will enable you to conduct an in-depth review of any homebuying proposal, at any time.

A real estate agent also is happy to help you after you determine whether to accept, reject or counter a proposal. If you accept an offer, a real estate agent will help you move forward with the home selling journey. Or, if you reject an offer, a real estate agent will show you how to promote your house to potential buyers to boost your chances of receiving better proposals in the future. And if you counter an offer, a real estate agent can negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf.

Evaluate a home offer closely – you'll be glad you did. If you perform a deep analysis of a homebuying proposal, you can assess a home offer from multiple angles and make the best-possible decision based on your individual needs.


A lot changes when you move into a new home. For the first few weeks you’ll most likely be focused on getting everything arranged and put away in their proper locations. You’ll be adjusting to your new work commute, meeting the neighbors, finding out where to shop, and so on.

It’s easy to forget about updating your budget during the first couple of months in your new home. However, if you want to be mindful of your spending and gauge the true cost of living in your new home, it’s essential to start tracking expenses and creating your budget as soon as possible.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to make a new budget for your new home so that you can start accurately planning your long term finances. That way, you and your family can rest assured that you aren’t living above your means in your new home and can stop stressing about spending.

Cost of living changes

When most of us move we think about the change of our mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance. However, there are several smaller changes that will occur in your day-to-day spending habits that you might not think to update in your budget.

First off, make a note of how much you’re spending on transportation (whether it’s train fare or gas for your car) in your new home and adjust this on your budget. This is hard to predict before you move since you can’t be sure of the traffic patterns until your first trip to the office.

Next, make a list of your monthly services, including utilities. We’re talking about internet, cable, trash and recycling, heating and electricity, and so on. At the end of the first month, add each of those to your budget and decide if you want to spend less on any of them.

One surprise expense that many people have when they move is the cost of internet. Your old plan at your former residence might not cut it if you move to an area with different coverage.

Furnishing your new home

Even if you’re moving with most of your furniture and appliances, there will likely still be expenses that you’ll need to plan for in your new home.

It might be tempting to make all of these purchases at once so that you can feel like your move is “complete.” However, the best course of action is to include these items into your monthly budget so that you are prepared for emergency expenses.

Decide which items you need the most in your new home, and prioritize purchasing those on the first month. You’ll likely realize after just the first couple of nights in your new house which items you need now and which can wait.

Budgeting apps and tools

Everyone has their own preferred method of record-keeping. Some people keep their budget in a notebook or planner, whereas others like to use an app that they can access on their phone or laptop.

There are dedicated budgeting apps and web applications that link to your bank account and tell you how much left you can spend that month and if there is an issue with your budget. Several such apps are available for free in both Android and Apple app stores.

For a simpler budget, you can simply use the spreadsheet application of your choice (Excel, Numbers, and Google Sheets are all sufficient).

Regardless of what tool you use, make sure you check in on your budget frequently to ensure you’re sticking to it and making adjustments as needed.


There’s so much to consider when to comes to buying a new home. The first issue is that of your finances. You need to make sure that you’re preparing financially for the home search, and not just making your list of “wants” for a new home. It’s an exciting time when you’re purchasing your first home, but don’t let the excitement overtake your responsibility. Here’s some tips to keep you on the financial straight and narrow path when preparing to buy a home: Be Mindful Of Your Credit Score There’s many factors that can affect your credit score. Applying for new credit cards is one of those factors. Your credit score will drop a few points every time you have a new credit inquiry or open a new account. If you do get approved for new credit, lenders may have concerns that you’ll spend up maxing out your new approved credit limit on that account and possibly default on your loan. Closing credit accounts is another factor that greatly affects your credit score. You may think that closing unused accounts is a good idea to help get yourself financially ready for becoming a homeowner. This isn’t true. Closing accounts lowers your amount of overall available credit. This means that your debt-to-credit ratio is larger. This lowers your overall credit score. You can certainly make these smart financial changes after you close on your new home. Keep Records When you move your money around, make sure you have records of it. Your lender will want to know about any unusual deposits and withdrawals. You’ll need to prove where your money comes from. All of the cash that you’ll be using for your home purchase should be in one account before you apply for a mortgage. Keep Up With Your Bills Don’t increase your debt. This will have an affect on the very important debt-to-income ratio which is one of the most vital aspects of loan approval. Also, be sure that you don’t skip your payments on bills. Your history of payments is incredibly important as well. Be sure that you continue to make full, on-time payments on all of your bills. Keep Your Job Even though a new job could mean a raise, or a better situation for you and your family, it could delay you in getting a mortgage. You’ll need to have your employment verified along with pay stubs to prove your source of income. Lenders like to see a longer employment history. Keep Saving The biggest up front costs in buying a home is that of closing costs and the down payment. Those must be paid at the time of closing. Lenders may even verify that your savings is on hand. Keep saving steadily and be sure to keep your savings in place.

As a homebuyer, it is paramount to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying journey. That way, you can take a step-by-step approach to achieve various goals along this journey and acquire your ideal residence faster than ever before.

Setting realistic homebuying expectations can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set realistic homebuying expectations.

1. Assess Your Home Must-Haves and Wants

Dozens of homes are available in cities and towns nationwide. If you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you may be better equipped than others to determine exactly what you want to find in your dream house. As a result, you could reap the benefits of a quick, seamless homebuying experience.

Oftentimes, it helps to create a list of home must-haves and wants prior to searching for a house. This list can be updated as you proceed along the homebuying journey and will serve as a guide to help you discover your ideal residence.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your home search to residences that fall within your price range. Then, you can speed up the homebuying journey and find your ideal residence in no time at all.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions generally offer a broad array of mortgage options. Examine all of your mortgage options closely, and you're sure to find a mortgage that matches your finances.

Also, don't hesitate to ask mortgage questions when you meet with potential lenders. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who are happy to help you in any way they can. Thus, you can gain expert insights from these mortgage specialists that could help you make an informed mortgage decision.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. Therefore, he or she can help you prepare for the real estate market and establish realistic homebuying expectations from day one.

Typically, a real estate agent first will learn about your homebuying goals. He or she then will help you map out a successful homebuying journey, one that concludes with you discovering your dream house at a budget-friendly price.

A real estate agent offers plenty of support at each stage of the homebuying journey too. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you updated about new residences that become available and help you evaluate houses. And if you want to submit an offer on a home, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.

Achieving the optimal results during the homebuying journey sometimes can be difficult. But if you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you may be able to streamline the homebuying journey and ensure that you can purchase a great house that suits you perfectly.




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