Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Professionals Weigh In
MADISON, N.J., Dec. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, a leading lifestyle real estate brand that is aligned with one of America’s most trusted brands, understands that people want to live their best life in their most cherished purchase – their home.
To that end, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate professionals regularly provide their clients with counsel and guidance on how to maximize homeownership at any point in the real estate journey. Better Homes and Gardens magazine frequently features this expert insight in print and online for the benefit of their readers. Here’s a look at the top 10 trending topics for homebuyers and sellers to consider in the year ahead.
Top 10 Insights for Buying or Selling a Home in 2024
- Understand that owning a home helps your overall financial picture. “Homeownership is the fastest and most reliable way to stabilize your housing expense and build wealth at the same time,” says Doug Shepherd, broker at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Champions. “The best advice for first-time buyers is that if you are going to remain in an area for more than two or three years, you should own it instead of rent.”
- Start with an experienced real estate agent. “Speak with at least two brokers, as rates and fees can vary,” says Gaetano Marra, broker/owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gaetano Marra Homes. “Look for reviews. If you can’t find any online in this day and age, there is likely a reason!”
- Determine how much you can afford. “A wise way to calculate what a buyer can afford is to spend 25% of their take-home income on the mortgage payment, inclusive of the principal payment, interest, taxes, and insurance,” Marra says.
- Start with a starter home. “For most people, that is where wealth begins,” says Jack Gross, president and CEO at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Cassidon Realty. “In some markets, that could be a one- or two-bedroom apartment condo. In other markets that could be a townhome or a small single detached ranch. In most cases, it’s a home that is under the median price point for the local market.”
- Condo or townhome? “It’s important to evaluate the financial aspects of owning a condo or townhouse,” says Dana Hall-Bradley, realtor/owner at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Fine Living. “A buyer should think about long-term plans and whether expenses associated with owning a condo or townhome are worth it in the long run. Will the home appreciate like a single-family home? Is it good for resale? What if there are assessments in the future? Can I afford them?”
- Build-to-rent homes are an emerging new solution. “Build-to-rent communities offer single-family, home-style living with rental agreements and amenities typically found in condominiums or apartment complexes,” says Jan Carlisle, a realtor with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Paracle. “They offer a good compromise for those who have considered owning a home but either can’t or don’t want to take the plunge.”
- Is new for you? “New construction homes are built with the latest energy-efficient materials and appliances, which can save you money on energy bills in the long run,” says Steve Poulos, co-owner and broker at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Northwest Home Team. “Most new construction homes come with a builder’s warranty, which means any issues or defects that arise within the first few years are covered by the builder.” According to Jessica Poulos, co-owner and broker at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Northwest Home Team, many new developments are built in previously undeveloped areas of a city or county, meaning there is likely less infrastructure nearby—think restaurants, shops, and schools. On the flip side, she says a new community could be a good indicator of the area’s health and potential for growth, calling new construction a ‘safe’ bet.
- Thinking about selling? Focus on the outdoors. “When deciding on what outdoor projects to take on to increase that curb appeal, view it from a buyer perspective,” says Scott Beaudry, broker/owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Universal. “I often suggest the acronym PLACE: Paint, Landscape, Appealing, Clean, Enjoy.” Beaudry suggests pressure-washing the driveway, cleaning the roof, mowing the lawn, and adding edging around flower beds – projects that can often make a big difference in your home’s perceived value. “The area does not need to be large or over-sized to attract a buyer,” says Sandra Harvey, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. “Some buyers prefer a smaller, beautiful space without spending a lot of time on the upkeep.”
- What is downsizing and is it for you? “Downsizing can be a wonderful opportunity to create a home that fits your needs and supports your best life in your senior years,” says Jana Adams an associate broker at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wine Country Group. “With careful planning and consideration, it can be a positive and empowering experience and prepare you for taking on the new transition in your life.”
- To-do list for moving into a new house.Tom Mallette, broker/owner at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Heritage, suggests preparing the home before moving in. “Having things like new paint and flooring installed when the home is empty is actually a great idea as it will make the vendors’ jobs so much easier (and may save you money!) if they do not have to move and work around furnishings,” Mallette says.
About Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC
The Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate network is a dynamic real estate brand that offers a full range of services to brokers, sales associates and home buyers and sellers. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Anywhere Real Estate Inc. (NYSE: HOUS), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation, and settlement services. The growing Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate network includes approximately 12,400 independent sales associates in over 400 offices serving home buyers and sellers across the United States, Canada, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Australia, and Turkey.
Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate logo, and BHGRE® are registered service marks owned by Meredith Operations Corporation and licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.
Misty Beard, 973-407-2331 or [email protected]
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SOURCE Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC