Don’t Make These 4 Home Sellers Blunders

Learn how to obtain the best price and avoid the headaches and heartaches associated with selling a home by avoiding these top four mistakes most people make:

1. Pricing

Without a doubt the single biggest mistake most people make when selling a home is not pricing right. Price too low and people are likely to ignore the home because they think it has major flaws; price too high and it is likely to sit on the market so long people lose interest. Work with an agent to price right as soon as the house goes on the market.

2. Maintenance

Failure to make small repairs, paint and properly maintain the property can result in a lower selling price, longer duration on the market and just plain lack of interest.

Remember, first impressions matter. Most people will begin their search online then take a drive by the home before scheduling an appointment to see more.

Make sure your home looks its best at all times.

3. Cutting Commission

While it might seem smart to reduce commission or even try to sell a home yourself, it’s usually “penny wise and pound foolish.” Remember, a lot of the commission goes to the agent/broker who brings a buyer to the table…less commission equates to fewer people working on your behalf to get the home sold.

Don’t scrimp on the MLS or cut commissions; the additional time, advertising costs and other expenses are likely to erode any so-called savings you might hope to gain.

4. Future Planning

Make sure you have a plan in place before sitting down to the closing table; be sure to take taxes into consideration and have a new home lined up in advance.

Otherwise, you are likely to find at least a portion of your profits going toward unexpected expenses.

How to Benefit from a Home Inspection

Buyers are often tempted to cut corners on things like home inspections to save money for fun items like furniture or a big-screen television. Don’t! A home inspection is one of the best investments you can make when purchasing a new home or other real estate.

Learn how to use a home inspection to your advantage with these pointers.

Plan and Prepare

Think of a home inspection as a fact-finding mission. Having a complete home inspection performed is one step toward finding out everything there is to know about the property.

Go beyond the basics by having water, soil, electrical, HVAC, pest and other systems thoroughly tested in addition to the regular home inspection. Hidden home defects often become apparent, including poorly performed repairs, forgotten faults, structural damage or other potential pitfalls, that could transform your dream home into a nightmare.

Avoid higher insurance premiums or more stringent mortgage terms by understanding the full history of the property.

Save Money

Almost every property has a few defects – even new homes – and buyers are often surprised how seemingly insignificant items can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the price of a home. Having an independent inspection performed often saves more money than it costs, since the sellers are forced to fix the problem or negotiate the price based upon the new information. Remember, once a defect is known the sellers are legally bound to disclose it to all prospective buyers.

Negotiate

Motivated sellers may not have the time or interest to fix all the problems on a property.

If you have more time than money, a home inspection provides a strong rationale to lower the purchase price or work out other alternatives while the home is being repaired or renovated.

Sellers: How to Make the Most of Your Homes Period Details

One of the major selling points of vintage homes is the attention to detail and fine craftsmanship only found in older houses. Learn how to make the most of the period details in your house to reap higher sales prices with these effective strategies:

Shine the Spotlight: Prepare your home in anticipation of taking plenty of photos. Pay attention to details and any unique features. If you have lived in your home for a while, ask friends or family to stop by and take a fresh look; it’s easy to forget how desirable your home is when you see it every day.

Provide Details: Was your house built with old yellow pine? Chances are it is virtually indestructible to most pests. What about the hardwood floors or gingerbread trim on the outside of the house? Any chance they are handmade? Cabinets, painted tiles and a variety of other common building materials have made a comeback in popularity. Take time to explain the history and benefits associated with each unique item of your home to prospective buyers. Not only does it set your home apart from the rest, but knowing the history helps buyers make that all-important emotional connection.

Appraise Items: If possible, hire an appraiser or perform a search for similar items to help demonstrate the inherent value of the items. For example, an old cast-iron tub in good condition can go for thousands; handmade lighting fixtures may range from a few hundred to thousands and many types of wood are not available at any price because of restrictions on harvesting and imports.

Why it Makes Sense to Work with an Agent

If you have ever wondered why it’s better to work with an agent rather than listing “by owner,” you aren’t alone. Superficially, selling a home seems easy – until you actually try it.

According to statistics, nearly 80% of people give up and list with an agent after months of costly and time-consuming delay.

Here is why agents matter more than ever:

Time

Showing homes, answering calls, responding to email, scheduling inspections and appraisals plus much more are time consuming tasks; more importantly, everything involved in a real estate transaction is time sensitive. Delays can cause a deal to fall through even at the last moment.

Promotion

Agents specialize in a specific location and know exactly what buyers are searching for in your area.
Not only do they know how to price right and grab the attention of prospective buyers, but many agents have an established list of buyers waiting for specific types of properties.
Successful real estate marketing requires extensive experience, time and persistence to achieve top prices in a buyer’s market.

Cost

Selling a home requires more than simply placing a sign on the front lawn; it also entails a lot of out-of-pocket expenses with no guarantee of success. Advertising can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, listing with a “by owner” agency or MLS service typically adds hundreds more.

Finally, it is important to remember that real estate agents split commissions between the listing agent and the selling agent. To attract attention to your home it is still necessary to split the commission with any agents who bring buyers to the table.

Working with a real estate agent is likely to save you money over the long run.

4 Ways to Tell if You Can Add Value to a Home

Learn how to add value to any home with these quick tips:

Deferred Maintenance: Small repairs and the general neglect of a home can make it appear less appealing than it really is. Don’t be detracted by deferred maintenance; instead, perform an inspection to eliminate the risk of serious problems, then use the condition as a negotiation tool.

First Impressions: More than one home has suffered from a bad first impression; overgrown shrubs, faded paint, lack of shutters and stained concrete walkways make any home look tired and dull. Fortunately, first impressions are fast and affordable projects; landscaping, pressure washing and a new doorknob quickly turn a tired entrance into an inviting space.

Lights and Appliances: Upgrading lights and appliances might be one of the best ways to add value to any home. Energy-efficient appliances and beautiful LED lighting not only provide a modern, up-to-date appearance but are quieter, easier to operate and more dependable than older models.

Cosmetically Challenged: Some homes simply suffer from poor taste; horrid carpets and personalized paint choices may have been the pride and joy of the original owner but don’t translate well into the general market. Rather than succumbing to the “shock and awe” when encountering a cosmetically challenged home, focus on the structure and surroundings instead. Cosmetic fixes often result in the largest “bang for the buck” when it comes to adding value to the price of a home.

Tips to Help Sell Your Home in a Slow Market

Selling a home in a down market takes more planning and preparation but with a little know-how it’s still possible to get a great response with these quick tips:

Price Matters

Without a doubt, the most important consideration is to price the house right – especially if you want a quick sale. When the market was red-hot homes sold fast so it is easy to forget that historically homes are on the market an average of six months before selling. Be realistic and work with your agent to price right.

Staging & Updating

Make sure your home looks its best by updating paint, making small repairs and taking the time to properly stage your home for online and in-person viewing.

Pre-Qualify

Window-shopping is a popular past-time even when it comes to real estate. One of the benefits of working with an agent is the ability to preserve your valuable time and only entertain serious offers from qualified potential buyers.

Reach Out

Reaching the best potential buyers isn’t always easy especially in a down market. It takes experience, objectivity and great marketing skills to know how to position your home to reach the right buyer. Does your home have a great view? It might be perfect as a vacation get-away. Is it located near a major International airport or business center? International buyers could be searching for a second home due to the favorable exchange rate.

Offer Incentives

Get noticed by offering buyer incentives. Buyer incentives are a welcome addition to any deal and include things like gift cards, LCD televisions or new appliances. Find out what tops the local “wish list” when it comes to amenities then calculate the cost of offering an incentive. They are an easy and effective way to capture the attention of potential buyers in a crowded market.

December 2008

How to Tell if Your Dream Homes Price is Right

When it comes to evaluating the value of a property there are more ways than meet the eye; like beauty, the value of a property is often in the eye of the beholder. Savvy buyers and investors use several of the following methods to determine if the price is right:

Comps: Comparing a property to others is the most commonly method of establishing price and value. Age, size, location and amenities are compared to other properties in the area. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work well for unique homes or those lacking nearby comparisons.

Income Potential: Another popular method is to determine the amount of income the property would generate if rented or used in another endeavor like a small business or hobby.

Return on Investment: Calculating the ROI is a good measure especially for those buying income producing property or “fixers” in need of extensive renovation or repair. The ratio between money invested into the property versus the anticipated return (often using leveraged funds) is particularly useful for those who purchase real estate as an investment. For example, if your cash outlay was $10,000 and you made $2,000 your ROI would be a whopping 20%.

Replacement Cost:  Inflation, taxes, permits and other costs tend to rise over time making it more costly to build a home. For example, 25 years ago many homes could be built for less than $40 per square foot while today it is difficult to find a home for less than $100 per square foot.

Why Comps are a Homeowners Best Friend

Whether you are buying or selling a home or other type of real estate, chances are you will hear a lot about “comps” so it might come in handy to understand what they really are and why they matter.

Comps are comparisons between your property and other similar properties. Age, location, amenities, and the general condition of the home are all used to compare your property against others in the same general vicinity in order to establish a price or fair market value.

Do Not Make This Mistake

Many sellers mistakenly look at the asking price of homes in the immediate vicinity when trying to establish a listing price, but that is often a major mistake. Actual sales data is a much more reliable indicator of value, since some sellers can be overly optimistic when it comes to setting an asking price.

Buyers also benefit from obtaining accurate comp data in order to determine what amenities, upgrades, and other items are included. Even homes that superficially look exactly the same in terms of square footage or floor plans may have substantial upgrades or extras that dramatically impact the price of the home.

Get the Most Accurate Data

Insist upon accurate and up-to-date comps when buying or selling a home, and do not confuse true comps with estimates or other inaccurate sources of data. Many popular websites use estimates based upon self-reported data or generalized insurance replacement rates.  While these may be useful for rough guidelines, they may cost you tens of thousands of dollars when buying or selling a home.

Work with an agent who provides the latest information specific for the area you are considering.
Age, condition, maintenance, upgrades, amenities, landscaping, appliances, energy efficiency, attractiveness, and even whether or not you have a corner lot can make a tremendous difference in the desirability and price of a home.

4 Essential Things to Consider When Buying a Condo

Condominiums remain popular housing choices, especially among those seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle, with the benefit of ownership. However, before making an offer on a condo there are a few things to keep in mind.

Fees & Service Charges: Condo associations typically charge a variety of fees to cover everything from modest maintenance charges to extravagant luxury amenities. Understand what is included, anticipated large expenditures, and out of the ordinary expenses likely to be incurred. Pay attention to deferred maintenance, planned upgrades, or other potential costs so you are not taken by surprise.

Management and Operational Efficiency: Spend time speaking with current residents, review community literature, and take a careful look around the area to get a general “feel” for how things are maintained.

Finances and Reserve Funds: Perform due diligence on the finances and reserve funds of the condo association to make sure their problem doesn’t become your own. Pay special attention to large numbers of foreclosures or vacant units that could eventually result in higher per owner premiums to compensate for loss of revenue.

Lifestyle and Values: When you buy a condo you buy a lifestyle – for better or worse. Be sure the condo and community share the same values and interests you find important. Remember, since condo associations are typically governed in a democratic fashion, a change of heart by the majority could lead to long-term frustration.

Staging: an Essential Secret to Selling in a Down Market

Staging has become commonplace when selling a home, but with the recent downturn in the economy and continued sluggishness in the real estate market; staging is more important than ever.

Here are the top reasons why home-staging matters, and how you can make it work for you:

A picture is worth a thousand words: Over 80% of home buyers begin their search online, so the first impression of your home might be the last. Make sure your home looks its best.

Browsers spend more time looking at pretty pictures: Not only are buyers searching online, but they tend to spend more time viewing attractive properties than those without pictures or with “ugly” photos. Use plenty of photos to showcase your home or property.

Visualize their space, not your place: Staging becomes even more important when buyers visit in person. Properly performed home staging is essential to allowing prospective buyers to visualize the home as “their space” rather than trying to see through your clutter and belongings.  A home should be attractive yet neutral enough to allow buyers an opportunity to get a feel for how their own furniture and belonging would fit.

Not just another pretty picture: Professional staging goes beyond mere looks and even combines fragrance, tactile, lighting and other sensory input for a complete experience sure to delight potential buyers of any age and income. Staging does not have to cost a fortune to be effective, but does require experience for best results.

Easy Storage Ideas to De-Clutter Your Home

A key element in staging a home for sale is to make it look clean, spacious, and presentable.

Learn how to clear the clutter with these quick and easy storage solutions that keep your home looking its best and make moving day a breeze at the same time.

Storage Bench or Seat: Buy an attractive storage bench or seat to store toys, pet items, and garden tools in a great looking container that adds a decorative element to the space. Outdoor PVC garden benches are an easy alternative to keep a patio or porch tidy, while a toy box in each bedroom makes quick work of preparing bedrooms to be shown on short notice. Best of all, storage benches make light work of packing when moving day arrives.

Bright Boxes: Purchase bright colored storage boxes to use on shelves or inside cabinets to reduce the appearance of clutter.

Overhead Storage Systems: Add inexpensive overhead storage systems to the garage, shed, or even bedrooms. Sturdy and easy-to- install ceiling mounted storage systems keep walkways free of debris, especially in cluttered spaces like the garage. Add colorful ribbons or bright decorations to create the perfect place for stuffed animals, games, or other infrequently used toys in bedrooms.

Racks: From bikes to hats, there is a rack for every reason, so chances are your home could benefit from a few well positioned and inexpensive racks too. Some of the more popular racks include bike racks, multimedia racks, coat and hat rack, laundry racks and of course – spice racks. Remember, potential buyers are likely to search every inch of your home including closet space, cabinets, and storage sheds to determine if their own belongings will fit. Stay prepared by presenting your home in the best light possible by putting everything in its place.

Budgeting Basics for First-time Buyers

Buying your first home is a lot of fun but there is more to it than meets the eye when it comes to budgeting.
Most new home owners are financially savvy enough to calculate the mortgage, interest, taxes, and insurance payments; but tend to forget less obvious expenses.

Here to help are a few budgeting basics for first time home buyers.

Moving Expenses: Truck rentals, time off of work and, of course, – gasoline … moving takes money whether you do it yourself or pay others to do it for you so plan accordingly.

Maintenance: From lawn care to fixing a door knob, owning your own home involves maintenance. Few first time home buyers remember the expense of maintaining a yard until the neighbors start giving them dirty looks. Don’t be caught by surprise because this is one area where expenses can add up fast. Set aside funds for a lawn service and pool maintenance, or plan to purchase the tools required to do it yourself, including lawnmowers, garden and hand tools plus other general maintenance items.

Utilities & Communication:  New home buyers are frequently surprised by the cost of utilities since many apartments include basics like cable, trash, or water.  Set aside enough funds for deposits and the first payment for utilities, phone, cable and other necessities. Don’t forget to find out if your cell phone, cable, and other services are available in the new area – otherwise, you may be forced to break a contract to obtain services.

5 Quick and Easy Renovations and Remedies

Learn how to earn tidy profits when selling your home or investment property with these quick renovation and maintenance tips.

Color: Still living in sterile white walls? Does a boring beige and brown exterior greet potential buyers? Eliminate the institutional look and give your home a brand new appearance inside and out with a quality paint job.
Clean Air: The sense of smell is a powerful tool especially when it comes to selling a home. Pet odors, smoking or other unpleasant smells can dramatically alter the impression of the home. Deep clean carpet, air vents, upholstery, and drapes plus any other absorbent surface that collects odors. Make it a priority to change the air filter and consider using an enzymatic treatment for deep-set odors. Marketing companies use smell to sell everything from new cars to clothing; put the same tips to work when renovating by using fragrance to create the impression of quality, comfort, and cleanliness.

Clear Clutter : Visually a few well placed large objects of contrasting colors are more attractive than numerous small items. Use this knowledge to tackle objectionable areas and transform them into the center of attention both inside and outside the home.  Expand small rooms by adding a window that draws the eye outward or coordinate colors to give the impression of uniformity instead of clutter to make a small kitchen or bathroom look larger.

Carpet Fixes: Before spending big dollars on new carpets, consult with a specialist capable of repairing and restoring the rugs throughout the home. It is often possible to blend or repair burns, snags and stains to make the carpet look nearly as good as new.

Conserve: Invest in low-maintenance lawns, water-saving devices and energy efficient appliances that will appeal to tenants and potential buyers alike. Green is in.

Bring Your Home Up to Date with These Trendy Colors

Searching for a fast way to catch attention and bring out the best in your house? Go from drab to dynamic in just days with these hot color trends.

The colors

Without a doubt today’s popular color trends reflect the warmth and beauty of nature – with a touch of elegance. Blue Iris, Caribbean Sea and Ochre are a few of the new offerings to be found on this year’s palette. Close behind is green – in fact, green is so popular it is considered by many to be the new “neutral” color to be used in almost any setting. Search for natural hues reminiscent of flora and fauna tones.

The style

One of the newest color trends isn’t the color itself but rather the location of color usage. Painted ceilings, floors and even cabinets are rapidly transforming ordinary rooms into extraordinary settings. Solve common design dilemmas by strategically using color to draw the eye upward or outward for narrow rooms or other common conditions.

The future

When it comes to trends, knowing what is “out” is nearly as important as spotting the next big thing. While you might be able to get away with a shade of green that is a little different than this year’s selection, some colors are a pure liability. Make it a priority to paint if your home is still sporting pastels from the 90s, brown/beige combos from the 80s, or (gasp!) avocado green and harvest gold from the 70s.

How Great Landscaping Says Come Inside!

Creating an inviting landscape not only ensures a positive first impression with buyers but may also increase your home’s value and lead to a quicker sale.

You don’t have to spend a lot to make big improvements in your home’s curb appeal. Keeping your lawn manicured – mowed and edged – and trimming bushes and trees is an inexpensive way to make a positive impression on buyers. You’ll also want to remove any dead or diseased plants and ensure beds are weeded and freshly mulched.

Before beginning any landscape project, make a plan. And if you live in a neighborhood with restrictive covenants requiring approval by a landscape committee, be sure to follow proper procedures to avoid spending money on projects that you may be forced to undo later. A project plan will also help ensure that you make wise choices and stay within your budget.

Use color and depth to create visual interest, and select a variety of plants that bloom or change color throughout the year so your yard will be attractive regardless of the season. If your yard is open to neighbors’ yards, a street or public areas, consider screening to create a more private space. This can be accomplished with evergreen trees and bushes or with an attractive fence.

Sometimes what you remove from a yard can be as important as what you put in. If the front of your home is obscured by overgrown trees or bushes, remove them or trim them back to help buyers get a clear view of your home. Remember that the goal is to create a welcoming first impression that says”Come in!”

Trends in landscaping

  • Low maintenance vegetation: less lawn to mow, helps keep weeds in check.
  • More trees: enhance beauty and provide shade.
  • Decks, patios and terraces: offer outdoor living space for dining, entertaining and relaxation.
  • Outdoor lighting: provides enticing views of your home and landscaping at night.
  • Irrigation system: costs more but simplifies lawn care and is attractive to buyers.

Paint Your House like a Pro with these Useful Tips

A great coat of paint makes all of the difference in the world to your home. These tricks of the pros will help you to get the results you want.

Quality. Cheap brushes and cheap paint are amateur choices. Quality paint gives good value because it takes less paint and less time to cover the same area. Buy sufficient paint before starting.

Primer. Apply a primer coat first. The job will look better, last longer and require less of the expensive paint.

Test. Professionals test colors thoroughly. Paint a patch of wall, and examine it against the room’s furnishings in various lights.

Prepare. After the wall is prepared by cleaning, scraping and sanding, try this: Hold a light bulb near the surface and move it over the area. Any remaining blemishes will cast shadows that make them visible.

Gloss. A flawed surface is best covered by a flat paint. Smooth surfaces can tolerate higher-gloss varieties, which better resist mildew and dirt.

Mix. If several gallons of paint were custom-mixed at the store, pour them together into a bucket or drum and back into the cans. Thus, slight differences among the cans are erased.

Trim. Mix some of the wall color into white or cream paint for a harmonious trim color. Use any proportion from a few tablespoons to a few cups per gallon of trim, according to the desired contrast.

Use Lighting to Add Value to Your Bathroom

Lighting is a great way to give your bathroom a whole new look and feel – and it’s an easy way to add value to your home.

Keep in mind that you can never have too much light in the bathroom. It is recommended that you layer light sources to provide enough illumination for applying makeup and for shaving while reducing glare.

· Begin by selecting an overhead fixture for general lighting in the room; cove and recessed lighting are popular choices.

· Recessed lighting in the shower area makes shaving and shampooing easier.

· Your tub area needs good general light, which can be offered by recessed light fixtures. To avoid glare, aim the light’s beam at the outside edge of the tub.

· For vanity areas, keeping in mind that recessed lighting tends to cast shadows on the face, consider adding lights on both sides of the mirror, set at eye level. Coated or frosted bulbs are a good choice because they enhance facial features and reduce glare, while warm fluorescent bulbs offer even illumination for the face. Good picks for vanity lighting include vertical strip fixtures or decorative wall sconces.

· Linear lighting systems are great for illuminating the floor. Place them in the toe space below the vanity and cabinets.

· Don’t block out the light from windows – it will supplement or replace electric options.

· Remember that fixtures in wet areas must be approved for such use.

Useful Tips to Keep Your Child’s Room Tidy

One of the greatest challenges when it comes to keeping a child’s room clean and organized is lack of storage space. It’s particularly important to keep these rooms looking tidy when you put your home on the market. Here are some tips to make the best use of space.

Beds: Consider buying a platform bed with built-in drawers to store toys or bulky clothing, or raise your child’s existing bed frame and use under-the-bed storage boxes to hold out-of-season clothes or books. Loft beds are a wonderful way to free up floor space, and many come with built-in desks and shelves for homework and books. If you have two children sharing a room, a bunk bed can also be used to free up floor space.

Double-duty Furniture: Using furniture that serves more than one purpose increases storage and frees up space in the bedroom. Benches with hinged tops can be used for storing stuffed animals, toys, or extra linens. Chests and ottomans that can be opened to store items can also be used as chairs or tables in a child’s room.

Walls: Taller shelving units will take up less floor space, while providing space for books or storage containers. Make certain to secure shelf units to the wall to prevent children from tipping them over. A nice place to store fragile or decorative items is up near your child’s ceiling. Line the top of your child’s bedroom walls with shelves, and place items up high that you would rather your child not have access to. Pegs are another fantastic way to use wall space, and young children will enjoy hanging up hats, jackets, and other items on the pegs.

Closets: Closet organizers should reach all the way from floor to ceiling to maximize storage possibilities. Place out-of-season clothes or other rarely used items on higher shelves, and keep frequently used items within your child’s reach.

Doors: Do not overlook the available space on the back of your child’s bedroom or closet door. Shoe organizers with clear plastic pockets make wonderful storage containers for small stuffed animals and cars, art supplies, and dolls.

First Impressions Count: Make Your Home Really Stand Out

First impressions at house showings are everything; when there is an excess of inventory on the real estate market, you need to make your home the one buyers just have to have – you must be the standout. Here are some ways you can do that.

Give your Realtor talking points – say what’s good about your home. Maybe it’s in a prime location with access to great schools and amenities, has a bustling nightlife, or enjoys a private, quiet setting – whatever you think is great about your home.

Show you care about your home – make it loved, and make it show. Make sure that your house is sparkling clean for every showing and impeccably maintained.

Get rid of any trash and clutter – open up your home to make it feel more spacious and sell yourselves as conscientious homeowners passing down a family treasure.

Don’t let anything in or outside of your home be in disrepair – because you’ll give the impression that this is a home not worth caring about.

As maintenance goes, painting is your number one best property maintenance investment – it’s relatively cheap, covers neglected surfaces, and gives everything a fresh, clean topcoat. There is just no better bang for your home improvement buck.

Cleaning your home for every showing is absolutely critical to selling it at a favorable price.

Is a Condo or Townhome Right for You?

Buyers from many walks of life are discovering the advantages of condo and townhome living.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking for an affordable way to own a home, a busy professional with little time to devote to home maintenance, or an empty-nester who’s “right-sizing,” a condo or townhome may be a good choice for you.

Advantages

· A condo or townhome is very low maintenance; landscaping and maintenance of the exterior structure are typically handled by the homeowners’ association (HOA). This is attractive if you’re not “handy” or if you have a busy lifestyle that doesn’t leave much time for home maintenance.

· Many communities offer amenities such as pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, and walking trails, which may not be available with many detached homes.

· Newer construction offers greatly improved sound barriers and fire walls.

· The proximity of neighbors may give owners a greater sense of security.

Disadvantages

· HOA dues increase your monthly outgoings and can rise in the future as maintenance and repair costs go up. Increases or decreases in HOA fees usually must be approved by the HOA, but check the community bylaws before making an offer to purchase a condo or townhome.

· HOA covenants and by-laws may restrict the way you can use or improve your property. Again, be sure to read them carefully before making an offer.

· Available parking for guests may be limited.

· Typically, there is less storage space than in a detached home.


Before purchasing any home, consider the potential for resale. To determine if the property you’re considering is a good investment, ask about the condo/townhome market in your area.