Guest Writer: Sally Norton
Image courtesy of Unsplash
So, you decided to purchase a new primary residence. Finally, a nest that will serve you well for raising your little ones. There are many things to look for when buying a family home. After deciding on the right size for your home, you'll need to balance each member's individual needs. It is not the easiest thing to do, but it's not impossible if you have some guidance, which we aim to provide.
First, find a good layout
The arrangement of the rooms in a house is one of the most critical considerations in determining whether or not it is appropriate for children to live there. Your rambunctious toddler will be easier to supervise in an open-concept living space, making it less likely that they will be able to hide in a corner or cranny that is out of your line of sight. It would be best if you also took notice of the distance that separates each of the bedrooms. Parents with a small kid who will wake up numerous times during the night may find it not ideal that the location of the master bedroom is far away from the other rooms in the house.
You’ll want your toddlers to sleep safe and sound and not wander
around in search of your room when having a nightmare.
Storage space is the second thing to look for when buying a family home
When you are contemplating having children, one thing that people don't usually tell you is how many things you will need to buy for them. Toys, clothing, books, and even more toys pile up, particularly during the holidays and birthdays. For soon-to-be parents, the ideal home will either have sufficient storage space already installed or enough room for them to construct their storage solutions. Are there spacious closets in each of the bedrooms? Make sure that at least the closet is large enough to accommodate all of them:
Check for outdoor space
Does the house you're thinking about buying have a safe backyard where your children can run about and play? When your tiny one can walk (or even more terrifyingly, run!), a modest deck or paved courtyard may not be enough space for them to explore their environment safely. If your home doesn't have a backyard, does it at least have a front yard? If so, does it have a fence around it to keep young children from wandering into the road?
Keep your little one in sight
If the property offers an area to play outdoors, make sure you can see it from inside the house. This can be useful once your children have reached the age when they can go outdoors and play by themselves but still need supervision.
Indoors - watch out for the stairs
Is there a significant number of steps in the home? If that's the case, they may be a cause for worry in terms of safety, particularly if you have children that have the explorer's spirit of a little Columbus. Moreover, the repair and remodeling of unsafe stairs can be one of the hidden costs when buying a home. Although you can always put safety gates in the areas that need them, it is something to consider since it is not a deal-breaker itself.
Fancy stairs are great for interior design, but are they great for a family?
An inadequate kitchen means potential danger
Children like getting their little fingers in your cooking, particularly if there is a possibility that they may lick the icing off the beaters after it is all done. But kids and kitchens mean potential hazards. Therefore, kid-proofing the kitchen space is crucial. It can mean a simple and budget-friendly upgrade, such as replacing the hardware and adding child locks. Also, a growing family will not do very well in a kitchen that is on the smaller side and has limited space for both access and storage.
What should you look for?
You should look for a kitchen that has a sufficient amount of storage space. Also, give preference to one that is an integral part of an open-plan living area. This will allow you to keep an eye on your children even if they are in the living room while you prepare meals. In an ideal situation, you'll come across a kitchen with these characteristics and the ability to be gated off to keep tiny curious fingers away from hot burners and sharp knives.
Investigate the neighborhood
When searching for a new home, this is the question that every family asks (or ought to ask): "How near are the schools (and kindergartens, daycare facilities, etc.) to the property?" Then, how close do you want your house to be to your job? The quality of the schools themselves is just as crucial as their locations. It is only reasonable for parents to be worried about the quality of education provided by the schools in their community. If you want to have a good sense of the educational opportunities available in your neighborhood, you should chat with residents there and look at the information on government websites.
Your kids’ education is the most important thing.
After everything is done – look for the right movers
Once you’ve found everything you were looking for in a house, it’s time to move. This is also an important part of buying a new family home. You’ll want to cooperate with professionals that will provide safe and simple transfer of your family. It’s a good idea to contact reliable residential movers as soon as you decide on buying your perfect new home since last minute arrangements may leave you with some less reliable companies.
There are many things to look for when buying a family home. It's not an easy task. But, once you go through every point in your checklist, you'll be sure that the chosen property is the right one. Then, you'll be ready to start a new and exciting life with your family.
I am excited to share with you the official book trailer for my new book 'Beating The Force Of Average'.
Launching in October 2022, I will share tips from overcoming fear, changing your mindset, overcoming self doubt and other tips that you can use to create a life you truly want to live.
An Author interview with BillionSuccess.com
Episode 225 AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show
Erik J. Martin | The Mortgage Reports Contributor | 7 min. read
Featured Expertise By Jason Gelios
It’s possible to refinance a second mortgage. However, these loans are considered higher-risk because they’re a second lien after your first mortgage. And that means they carry higher interest rates.
Because of this, many homeowners looking to refinance a second mortgage end up rolling their home equity loan or HELOC into their first mortgage via a cash-out refinance. This could potentially lower the interest rate and eliminate a second monthly payment.
Are you looking to refinance a second mortgage? Learn about refi options and interest rates to see what will work best in your situation.
The official teaser trailer for my second book. This is my passion project to help others create a life that they truly want to live.
A personal interview with Savio P. Clemente of The Human Resolve for Authority Magazine.
The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.
Jason Gelios is a top producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book ‘Think Like a REALTOR®: A little book about buying and selling residential real estate through the eyes of a REALTOR®, creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show, and an Expert Media Contributor of real estate expertise to major media outlets such as Money, Yahoo, Realtor.com, Bankrate and more.
The latest rant about home owners who filed a lawsuit towards HGTV and the Property Brothers over an alleged unsatisfactory kitchen renovation.
Erik J. Martin | The Mortgage Reports Contributor | 8 min. read
Featured expertise by Jason Gelios
Mortgage rates are rising, but you can lower yours
Mortgage interest rates have been rising throughout 2022. That’s bad news for home buyers, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the line. There’s a lot you can do to fight rising interest rates and get a better deal on your mortgage loan.
Here are the best strategies to beat the market and secure a lower rate for your new home loan.
Erik J. Martin | The Mortgage Reports Contributor
Featured expertise by Jason Gelios
Home prices continue to climb. And interest rates have gone up as well, increasing the cost of homeownership from month to month. Unsurprisingly, many home buyers are left wondering: Is buying a house still worth it in 2022?
The short answer is yes. If you’re financially ready, buying a house is still worth it — even in the current market. Experts largely agree that buying and owning a home remains a smarter financial move than renting for many.
If you’re on the fence about a home purchase in 2022, here’s what you should consider.
Benefits of buying a house in 2022
Despite the financial challenges of the current market, there are plenty of reasons why buying a home is still worth it in 2022.
1. Rising prices lead to increased equity
One of the chief benefits of owning a home is that over time, increased home equity can add to your net worth and give you a low-cost source of cash as needed. The ability to build equity is what sets homeownership apart from renting, which has no return on investment.
Article by Jennifer Taylor | GoBankingRates
Featured expertise by Jason Gelios
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you work. Instead of putting on real pants and commuting to an office each day, you’re now working remotely all — or most — of the time.
You’re certainly not alone in this shift, as 59% of U.S. workers who say they have the ability to work from home are doing so exclusively — or more so than not — according to the Pew Research Center.
Since home now doubles as your workplace, you want to create space for a new office or update the one you already have. The average cost of professional home office remodeling is $15,000, according to HomeAdvisor, so it’s important to make sure your upgrades are a good investment.
Lack of Organizational Elements
The best home office renovation creates a space that is comfortable but also conducive to productivity, said Jason Gelios, a Realtor in Southeast Michigan.
“A home office should have a place for everything and not become a catch-all for clutter,” he said. “Properly renovated home offices have appealing storage items such as drawers, storage cubbies and a fully functional desk.”
Early indicators are that the home-buying market is starting to stabilize. It’s imperative to price your home realistically.
By Terri Williams | Published Apr 25, 2022
Featured Expertise by Jason Gelios
Photo by IstockPhoto
During the past two years, home prices have been, for lack of a better word, crazy, so much so that we’ve been warning buyers not to compromise on some of the essentials that could lead to buyer’s remorse.
However, prices are finally starting to drop in some parts of the country. “Home sellers in 2022 should be aware that the housing market is beginning to transition towards favoring home buyers,” says Jason Gelios, a realtor at Community Choice Realty in Detroit, MI. “Compared to the past two years or so where homes were receiving over a dozen offers, we are seeing an average of five offers per home,” he says.
So, how should you price your home in today’s volatile real estate market? Keep reading to learn about four crucial things to keep in mind.
Click here to read more
Personal Interview with Jason Gelios
Host: Savio P. Clemente with The Human Resolve
Topic: Building resilience to get through tough times
By: Amy Howell Hirt
Like thinking vertically, especially if storage space is lacking.
Working from home has a lot to offer. No more long commute (or drama from your cubicle mate). It’s so much easier to be productive, right? Only if you’ve got an organized home office, that is.
“It really allows you to focus on what’s important,” says Calabasas, Calif.-based organizer Lori Gersh. That means you can more easily ignore distractions (like that pile of dirty laundry).
Here’s how to fix your home work space to pump up your productivity.
#1 Purge First
Sure, shopping for organizers is fun. They don’t call it “retail therapy” for nothing. But to create a system primed for maximum output, you should first soldier through the task of ditching paperwork and office supplies that clutter rather than help and, most important, find homes for all things unrelated to work (well, except for a sentimental photo or two — and plants; plants are good). Consider it boot camp to get your work life in shape. Plus, the more open and organized your space is, the easier it’ll be to focus.
#2 Create a Work Hub — Even if Space Is Minimal
A separate room with only one function — work — is ideal, but so is a beachfront address. Just because you don’t have a spare room doesn’t mean you can’t have an “office.” You can easily create one. A small desk and storage ottoman for files and supplies may be all you need. Or a small coat closet could be repurposed if you need something more substantial. Relocate the coats and jackets to hooks in your entry or move them to other closets, and convert that closet into a work nook with a built-in tabletop and floating shelves.
But if you work from a multipurpose space like the kitchen table, or prefer to roam from table to couch, it’s a bit more of a challenge — but still solvable. Try a rolling cart loaded with your work supplies. “It helps you focus because you have things right where you need them,” says New York City organizer Stephanie Shalofsky. (There’s a ton of sizes and configurations to choose from.) Then simply roll it out of sight when company comes.
#3 Use Vertical Space to Organize
It’s surprising how often wall space is overlooked as an organizing solution. When everything you need is right there on your wall and easy to find, your productivity jumps.
Buy ready-to-hang cubbies, or create your own system, and hang them just as you would a collection of pictures. Some other ideas:
#4 Separate Household Files from Work Files
If you do business and household duties from the same space, you need separate systems to help you stay focused, Shalofsky says. This is super easy to do. You just need to commit to do it:
#5 Tidy Up Before Clocking Out
When you work from home, there’s no cleaning crew to spruce up your space after hours and no peer pressure to maintain a somewhat orderly space. So, although it’s tempting to let it be, take just a few moments to toss unnecessary paperwork, remove trash, and make sure your work space is ready for work in the a.m. By clearing the way today, you’ll hit the ground running tomorrow.
Congratulations. You’re now living the work-at-home dream!
Guest Writer: Sally Norton
It's never too late to buy your dream home! Don't let your age discourage you if you're thinking of buying a home. Just because moving is often associated with younger folks doesn't mean you shouldn't follow your dreams and become a homeowner in your golden years. However, you should keep in mind that purchasing a home at 65 is not the same as buying at 30. To help you through this process, we compiled a list of tips for buying a home in your senior years.
#1 Find the Right Neighborhood
When you're buying a home in your senior years, one of the most important things to consider is the location. Do your research and find the right neighborhood that fulfills all your wants and needs. For example, if you have health-related issues, choosing a place near a medical institution or a hospital might be wise. This way, you'd be close enough in case of an emergency, and you won't have to get someone from your family to drive you to every doctor's appointment.
Furthermore, if you want to live in your own apartment but need daily support or medical care, spending time in an assisted living facility or community is a good idea. Activities, trips, and meals provided in dining facilities are standard in assisted living complexes.
#2 Think About Downsizing
It's easy to get caught up looking at those beautiful two-story, three-story homes. However, you probably don't need anything that extravagant when you're buying a home in your senior years. This is especially true if you're living alone or with your spouse; you won't need all those extra bedrooms and bathrooms. Moreover, more rooms mean more cleaning and maintenance. By choosing a smaller house, you can save yourself a lot of money and use your free time to focus on your hobbies and interests.
#3 Consider Your Mortgage Options
Usually, most seniors would rather buy a house with cash than take out a loan. That way, they don't have to worry about paying off their mortgage, and there's a 0% chance of their heirs having to help out or inheriting a loan. However, not all seniors have the means to pay for a home entirely in cash. And the process of getting approved for a mortgage can get even more complicated if you're a senior. But all of that shouldn't make you give up. Instead, you should find a financial consultant and see what your options are and if they'll affect your pension.
Hire a real estate agent to help you find the best house for you.
#4 Hire a Real Estate Agent
House hunting can get tricky. If you're not a real estate expert, you may not know when you're overpaying for a home or making a bad deal. That's why you should enlist the help of an actual real estate agent. They'll help you find your dream home, negotiate a good deal and assist you with the paperwork. Moreover, if you have any special requirements for the home you're looking for, they'll always come up with the best option. For example, if you're buying a house and you have pets, your real estate agent could focus on only the listings with a big enough backyard for your pets to run around but not so big that the maintenance is a hassle in your senior years.
#5 Be Cautious
Unfortunately, many real estate predators are out there attempting to take advantage of the elderly. To prevent falling into their traps, ensure your market knowledge is up to date. Do all your own googling to inquire about the average home prices. Moreover, as we already mentioned, don't underestimate the importance of hiring a financial counselor and a real estate agent. Also, if you get any paperwork, be sure you've read and comprehended any tiny print. Real estate brokers that try to hurry you into making decisions and signing agreements may be trying to take advantage of you. Trust your instincts. You're probably right if you believe you are being told something that's too good to be true. Get a second opinion to be sure.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when buying a home in your senior years, whether
it entails hiring a professional or asking somebody from your family.
#6 Don't Stress
Buying a house and moving is widely believed to be one of the most significant stressors in a person's life. For many people, changes like these take a toll on their mental health. However, a part of that is up to you and how you handle the stress. If it's taking too long to find the right home for you, understand that some things are just out of your control. You can't change the market; you can be patient and wait it out.
Something will come up eventually. And when it does, you'll have to get ready for the process of relocation that's ahead. It's always a good idea to hire specialists and enlist their help, as it significantly helps with overcoming moving anxiety. In the meantime, try to keep calm and focus on what you can control. Enjoy your free time and hobbies and leave the work to the professionals whose job is to deal with things like that.
#7 Hire Moving Assistance
Moving into a new house is a difficult and physically demanding task. You might not have the energy as a senior to pack up your complete living quarters, let alone relocate and then unpack. Fortunately, various moving companies specialize in assisting seniors in packing their possessions and moving into their new homes securely and effectively.
However, if you can't afford additional help, you can ask your friends and family to help you. Invite your kids and grandkids over, give them assignments and have them do most of the heavy lifting while you coordinate the move. It will be a fun family bonding time and a nice reason to see everyone get together.
Since you can’t lift it all by yourself, hire movers to take your belongings into your new home.
Buying a home is always a long and challenging process. And buying a home in your senior years is not any less complicated. However, that alone shouldn't stop you from doing what you want! There are plenty of excellent benefits to being a homeowner you shouldn't miss out on. So, if you don't think you can do it all by yourself, don't be ashamed to hire some help.
Image by Pexels
Article by Guest Writer Sarah Velasquez
Research from Mercer indicates that working from home may be far more practical than many people once thought. Moving forward, it is likely that companies will increasingly offer remote positions. Even so, working where you live can be tricky if you don't have the space to create a quiet, cozy and organized office. Consider several tips from Realtor Jason Gelios that may help you successfully transition to a larger home to accommodate your new professional routine.
1. Get Your Finances in Order
It's a good idea to start the home-buying process by outlining your current spending habits and determining how much you can afford to put toward housing expenses each month. Next, connect with an experienced and dedicated real estate agent and start browsing homes for sale.
Once you know the price range of the homes that interest you, be sure to meet with your bank or another lender. You will have a much better chance of closing a deal if you can show sellers that you have been preapproved for a mortgage of a certain amount. Preapproval demonstrates that you will be able to come up with the necessary funds to complete the purchase.
2. Capitalize on All Tax Advantages
If you are starting your own business, it may be wise to check your state’s regulations about forming a limited liability company. Score notes that LLCs offer numerous benefits, a key one being that you have some flexibility when it comes to how you handle taxes. You can either pay taxes via your personal tax return (if you are a single-member LLC) or as an S or C corporation.
Additionally, you may be able to save money on home expenses by deducting the amount you spend on your office from your taxes. This is often an option if your workspace is fully dedicated to professional use. If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may also have access to special loans or tax breaks.
3. Design a Productive Workspace
When you view available homes, look for one that includes a room you can claim as your office. The best workspaces are in quiet areas of the house where there are minimal distractions. To set up your office, you will need several pieces of furniture, such as a desk, chair, bookshelf, and storage cabinet. Natural materials like wood or bamboo help to create an inviting Hygge-like atmosphere. You can also create a warm, welcoming atmosphere by purchasing custom wallpaper for your walls. That way, you can match the furniture and other decor you’ve selected. If you will meet with clients at your home, you may need a larger desk and a few extra seats.
Remember to purchase cozy and comfortable pieces made from quality materials. Ergonomic chairs and adjustable standing desks, for example, make long workdays feel more manageable. To enhance coziness and comfort, you might also want to have a space for a comfortable couch, either for work breaks or for those parts of the day when sitting at a desk just isn’t appealing anymore. Having plenty of storage space allows you to eliminate clutter, organize important documents, and maintain your focus.
4. Invest in Useful Tech
Some of the latest technology may help you do your job more effectively. For one, make sure you have high-speed internet access. If you conduct video conferences, consider investing in a top-tier webcam and a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Those who spend a large portion of the day working on the computer may especially appreciate having an extra display monitor to supplement their laptop or desktop screen. You can connect your computer to these displays so you can view two pages at once and avoid squinting at a small screen.
Although the thought of moving away from a familiar living space can be troubling, doing so may be worthwhile if it helps you advance your career. Start searching for a home that fosters both a healthy personal life and a stable professional life.
Want to find a house that’s perfect for putting together a productive home office? In Southeast Michigan, Realtor Jason Gelios can help you find what you’re looking for. Call 586-419-2231 today.
Sarah and Mark Velasquez are the creators of Our Perfect Abode. After years of renting, they recently bought their very first home. They’re currently hard at work turning that fixer upper into their perfect abode and are sharing their journey and all the tips and tricks they pick up along the way on their website.
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the book Think like a REALTOR®, Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.