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Six Home Buying Tips That Every Buyer Needs to Know

Six Home Buying Tips That Every Buyer Needs to Know

Buying a home can be scary. There is a lot of money at stake and you are staking your reputation on your ability to make payments on that home. A simple mistake or bad choice can costs thousands of dollars in the long, or even the short run. After many mistakes that I have made, here is a list of the six tips that I think are most important to a new homebuyer

1. Know what you are looking for

Too often people start looking for a home without a really good idea of exactly what they want. They start to discover what they are looking for as they search for a home, but often end up purchasing a home that they didn’t necessarily want under the guise that “it is pretty nice”.

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A few things to think about are the number of bathrooms, a family room, the size of the kitchen, the size of the yard, and really the size of every single room. You can find what you are looking for by looking online at what is available. There are many for sale by owner sites that you can go on to look at homes for free in this stage.

2. Know your landscaping

A lot of people purchase a home because they are sold by the beautiful landscaping that has been done. They don’t realize that in order for the home to be landscaped that beautifully, it likely has had a lot of work put into it. After owning the home for a year or so, the landscaping starts to deteriorate. The grass dies, flowers don’t get planted, and weeds takeover.

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If the home has good landscaping, take time to figure out how much would need to be done to maintain that landscape.

3. Don’t settle

This home is where you will spend a majority of your time for the next few years at least. Many homebuyers get frustrated while looking and assume that they just need to settle for something less. While this is true for some people with high expectations, oftentimes you can get nearly exactly what you want if you wait. There are thousands of homes going on the market every single day and they all are a little different. Take your time and you will likely find one that excites you.

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4. Look in the outskirts

The outskirts of most cities are much cheaper than the main city. Many people buy an old, small home in the city but don’t ever realize that 15 minutes outside of the city there is a nicer, newer home. If you are willing to drive a little further for work, school, etc. then a home just outside of the city may be the best option for you.

5. Don’t feel bad making offers

Making offers on homes is the name of the game. If you think a home may have potential, make an offer and test it out. You are not locking yourself in if you make an offer, and you usually have a couple of weeks at least to back out. If you think the home has potential and could see yourself living in it, make the offer. If something better comes along, it is easy to cancel.

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6. Look at utility costs

Many people do not realize that utility costs vary from city to city. Just because your total utility bill was $200 in one city, does not mean you will pay similar expenses in the next city. Oftentimes newer cities have more expensive utilities because they are trying to pay off debts that they took on to build the necessary infrastructure. Your home may also be bigger, meaning utilities will cost more.

While this list is not everything a new homebuyer needs to know, the advice here would have saved me a lot of heartache in many of my home purchases. Good luck!

Featured photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net via publicdomainpictures.net

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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