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3 Basic Tips for Becoming a First-Time Homeowner 

Dreaming of becoming a first-time homeowner? Well, then you may also be worried about whether buying your first home will be a nightmare. Thankfully, this process doesn’t have to be as complicated as it may seem, especially when you keep these home buying tips in mind.

Consider Building Your New Home 

If you have specific ideas for what you want your new home to look like, then you may want to consider building a custom home. Depending on the features and location, the costs to build a custom home can run anywhere from $350,000 to $1.5 million, although more basic homes will be between $165,961 and $474,252. Your price will also depend on whether your home will include a single level or multiple levels, will be large or small, or will adhere to traditional shapes or take on a custom flow. Try to keep in mind that these costs are only related to the actual construction of your home, as you will still need to purchase land before you start building. While this may seem like a less complicated task than buying a new home, finding the right plot of land for your custom-built home is critical. You don’t want to build a massive home in a neighborhood of modestly sized houses, and you also do not want to construct your home in an area that lacks access to utilities. So, your best bet is to work with a pro who has experience.

Think About Your Financial Options 

Whether you plan on buying or building a new home, completing certain financial steps needs to be a top priority. You may have already checked most of these tasks off your list, but reviewing your credit report, remedying any mistakes, and researching home loan options are smart moves toward getting the best deal on your new home loan. Depending on your timeline, you may also want to think about saving a down payment, so that you will have more buying power and access to a wider variety of lenders. Most down payments range from 3 to 20 percent of the total home value, and if you can make the financial sacrifices needed to put this money aside you will also have a better shot at keeping up with your housing payments. This is especially important for first-time homebuyers who may not be accustomed to paying for a mortgage other costs of homeownership. Speaking of the costs of homeownership, it’s also essential for first-time buyers to consider all potential expenses involved with owning a home.

Research Your Local Real Estate Market 

Before you begin applying for home loans, you also need to have a good idea of what current home prices and real estate trends are in your area. Researching real estate is so simple these days thanks to the internet, but you also need to take a look at the local community. Some key things to look for when researching local markets include the development of new infrastructure, the rate of housing price growth, and average property taxes for neighboring cities. Taking these factors into consideration can help ensure that you get the most house for your money and that you will be able to sell your home in the future, if needed. Of course, other factors you may want to consider when searching for your new home include local crime rates, school ratings, and nearby amenities. Good schools typically top the list for homebuyers, so even if you do not have kids, you may want to research schools in your desired location. Finally, if you want to avoid doing all of this homework on your own, work with a reliable local buyer’s agent.

Buying a new home can feel like an overwhelmingly complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. When you take the time to decide whether to buy or build, carefully review your finances, and research the local real estate market, you can rest assured that you will make the best decisions when it comes to buying a home.

Tips for Turning Your Investment Property into a Profitable Vacation Rental

Thinking of renting out your investment property as a vacation home? This can be a great way to pay off the mortgage on your second home or at least earn some extra income on the side. However, the market for vacation rentals is very competitive, so you will have to invest some time and money into your rental to transform it into an inviting place to stay. Here are some of the best ways to make your property more attractive and welcoming to short-term renters.

Invest in Security

When your property is sitting vacant between guests, it can be a target for thieves and vandals. Fortunately, you can keep an eye on your rental with the help of a reliable home security system. When searching for the right security system, you’ll come across all kinds of features, from basic alarms to cameras that you can access remotely from your smartphone. Take the time to find something that meets your needs. Not only will a good security system help to protect your valuable investment, but it will also help your guests feel safe.

You may also want to install a keyless entry system to eliminate check-in hassles and reduce the risk of intruders in your rental. For example, you can set up a smart lock that integrates with your online booking service to generate a new entry code for every rental guest. A smart lock will also let you know when people come and go, so you can monitor the activity at your rental and ensure your guests make it inside successfully.

Know When to Splurge and When to Save

Furnishing and decorating your rental can get expensive pretty quickly. Find ways to save wherever possible so you can splurge on the key items that will make your rental more appealing to guests. For example, it’s always smart to invest in a high-quality mattress and bedding to ensure your guests can enjoy a comfortable sleep. According to Lodging Media, quality of sleep is one of the most important elements of the guest experience at hotels, and the same goes for your vacation rental.

For the rest of the home, try to create a feeling of luxury without the extravagant price tag. One way to do this is to embrace minimalism with just a few statement pieces. Crate and Barrel has several excellent items that can work as decorative focal points in your rental. Since their prices can be a little on the steep side, look for an online Crate and Barrel promo code before shopping. You can also get creative with different textures, mirrors, and lighting to create a welcoming and elegant atmosphere without purchasing a lot of expensive decor.

Make Practical Design Decisions

As you decorate your rental, try not to sacrifice function for appearance. Make sure your guests have a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day, a functional kitchen for cooking quick meals, and somewhere to store luggage during their stay. You could even purchase a sleeper sofa to add two extra guests to your accommodation capacity. Keep upkeep and maintenance in mind as you make these decor decisions. For example, consider replacing carpet with more durable floors or choosing stain-proof furniture that is easier to keep clean.

Keep it Sparkling Clean

The number one vacation rental guest complaint has to do with cleanliness, according to Evolve. Since cleaning a vacation home requires a high degree of detail, consider hiring a professional housekeeping service to give everything a deep cleaning between guests. A good housekeeper will also monitor the home for damage and potential maintenance problems that should be tackled sooner rather than later. Your guests expect a sparkling clean experience every time, so come up with a solid plan for keeping everything spotless. Running a vacation rental can be a great way to get your feet wet in the world of real estate investing. It’s important to put time and care into your property to ensure your investment is a profitable success. As you set up your rental, keep these tips in mind to design a safe and comfortable rental that will keep guests coming back time and time again.

Blog content provided by Ray Flynn | DiyGuys.net, ray.flynn@diyguys.net

4 Best Reasons to Visit the Sequim Casino: The 7 Cedars

Blurred slot machines in the Sequim CasinoResidents and visitors love the Sequim casino, the 7 Cedars is just 5 miles east of downtown Sequim. This friendly and fun establishment was opened by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in 1995 and is now operated by JKT Gaming, Inc. The lush valley location overlooks tranquil Sequim Bay, alongside the majestic Strait of Juan de Fuca. This Sequim casino not only offers the hottest games around, but also great entertainment, wonderful dining choices and a world-class golf course. 

Seven colorful totems welcome visitors to the 7 Cedars Casino and also honors the history of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. In addition to a wide variety of gaming activities, the 63,000-square-foot Sequim casino also houses several restaurants and stages for bands, comedy shows and much more. The Sequim casino sits on 14 scenic acres with a 18-hole championship course, a huge draw for local golfers. Here they hold year-round events, competitions, and is also the home of the Washington Senior Open. Not many small towns can boast an exciting casino in their backyard. It’s just another reason why so many love calling Sequim home. When visiting the Sequim casino, also explore everything our town has to offer. Contact our staff at Schwab Realty, we’d love to help you find your dream home on the Olympic Peninsula.

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Helpful Tips for Renovating an Older Home

Photo Credit: pexels.com

If you have an older home, you may be thinking about taking on several do-it-yourself projects to improve your living situation and increase the overall value of your property.  However, it is important to know which projects are valuable enough to outpace the cost of the projects themselves, as well as how the age of your home might affect your ability to follow the projects through to their completion.  Here are some ways you can tell whether your home is a good fit for a do-it-yourself project, as well as which projects are worthwhile whether you plan to sell your home or stay in it for years, and when it is more cost-effective to hire a professional. Continue Reading

Practical Tips for Turning Your Garage Into a Rec Room

Image via Unsplash

There are many reasons to create a rec room at your home. It provides a space to host ping pong tournaments or get the family together for movie marathons, and it gives your kids and their friends the perfect area for a sleepover, to name a few. But really, a rec room is simply what the name suggests: a room that facilitates many different kinds of recreational activities.

Technically, you can put a rec room anywhere in your home, but most people prefer it to be away from primary living areas. One popular method is to convert the garage into a rec room. While this process is usually not quick or easy, it can go smoothly if you plan ahead. If you’re considering turning your garage into a rec room, consider these tips to help get you started. Continue Reading

Enjoy the Best of the Olympic Peninsula Living in Sequim WA

Mount Baker at Sunrise, living in Sequim WADiscover why living in Sequim WA makes its residents feel like the luckiest people on earth. For some it’s the amazing setting and breathtaking scenery they wake up to each day. This coastal town sits alongside the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the towering Olympic Mountains on the other side, and nestled between them is the rich Dungeness Valley farmlands. The surrounding mountains and forests provide miles of beautiful hiking trails. While the shimmering coastline offers kayaking, fishing, and whale watching opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy every activity possible while living in Sequim WA. Sequim’s location in a rainshadow also creates mild and sunny weather. So locals enjoy the outdoors biking, golfing and flying no matter the season. 

In addition to a beautiful landscape, Sequim has a charming, walkable downtown, full of great restaurants and shops. The friendly, active community offers plenty of opportunities to meet your neighbors and share interests. Wonderful festivals are also held in and around Sequim throughout the year. You’ll never run out of fascinating things to do while living in Sequim WA. Come out and visit this gem on the Olympic Peninsula and see why so many choose Sequim as their home. Contact our knowledgeable brokers at Schwab Realty. We’d love to help you find your perfect place in lovely Sequim. 

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Alternative Energy: The Benefits of Residential Solar Panels 

As a homeowner in Sequim, WA, you’ve probably considered investing in solar panels at some point. Whether this was a fleeting thought or a serious consideration, you might be surprised to know that the number of homeowners using solar panels is increasing. Despite their initial cost, many people are realizing that the advantages far outweigh any downsides to this form of energy efficiency. To help shed some light on your decision, here are some of the benefits of residential solar panels.

Solar panels on Sequim Residential property

Photo Credit: PixaBay https://pixabay.com/photos/solar-system-roof-power-generation-2939560/

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Great Day Trips from Sequim

Shoreline At Cape Flattery In Olympic National ParkSequim has everything that makes a perfect hometown; great weather, stunning landscape and an active downtown. Another great reason to live in Sequim is its access to fantastic day trips. Residents love to hop in their cars and explore the Olympic Peninsula. These journeys lead to beautiful historic towns, rugged beaches, lush rainforests and magical waterfalls. After an amazing adventure, it’s wonderful to return to Sequim’s idyllic setting and the welcoming community that makes it feel like home.

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Tranquil Winter Hikes Near Sequim

 

hike to Dungeness Spit In WinterAfter the holiday parties and gatherings, peaceful winter hikes are a welcome break that refresh the spirit. Treat visiting family or friends to the natural beauty found near Sequim or escape alone on the quieter winter trails. Discover the charms of early winter hikes that are less crowded but still hold so much seasonal beauty. This time of year adds a dusting of snow to a waterfall hike or a lacework of ice crystals along a forest river. Breathe in the fresh air on these five wonderful winter hikes.

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