Twila E. Palmer's Blog
It’s never too early or too late to start encouraging your children to explore new things and learn new skills. Children will spend most of their time at home, playing with various toys, and learning from their families.
One way we can encourage kids to learn is to create a positive learning environment within our homes.
Doing so doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming project. There are many ways you can integrate fun learning experiences into your child’s daily life at home.
In this article, we’re going to cover some of the cheap and simple ways to create a positive learning environment right at home so that you can build upon what they have learned (or what they will be learning soon) at school.
It may come as no surprise that kids who read frequently are statistically more likely to excel at school. However, that doesn’t mean you just need to sit them down with a copy of Hamlet and wait for their Ivy League acceptance letter.
Reading can be an important way to learn and bond together with their child. The best way to encourage them to read is to read together the books that you’ll both enjoy.
Slowly building a home library or bookshelf is a fun way to visualize your hard work and all of the books you’ve read together. The best part is that you kind find countless used children's books for less than a dollar at your local thrift store.
Let your child take the lead
Creativity is something that is fostered and taught. Children are lucky to have active imaginations that let them make up games and stories on their own. However, you can help steer that creativity into fun projects at home that will produce something they can be proud of.
A good way to do this is to let your children direct you in the direction of their interests. If they ask you, “Can I try?” while you’re mixing cake batter, you’d often be surprised at how capable they are. Getting them involved doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds on a chemistry set that will be used just once--find ways they can help with projects that exist already around your house.
Be a mentor
Parenting is full-time work. It can be hard to find time to spend learning with children after a full day of work and cooking dinner, and it’s tempting to spend the rest of the night binge-watching Netflix shows. However, it’s possible to relax while still setting a good example for your child.
Watching science shows or nature documentaries together can help you both learn something new. Making trips to museums or growing a garden together on the weekends are other ways you can learn new things and skills and have fun with your children at the same time.
When it comes to food, eating healthy, home-cooked meals and nutritious snacks can be a way for both of you to improve your health and learn the benefits of nutrition.
The homebuying journey may seem daunting at first. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.
1. Be Diligent
A diligent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a seamless and successful property buying experience. In fact, this buyer likely will do whatever it takes to find the right house at the right price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.
To become a diligent homebuyer, it generally is a good idea to learn about the housing market in your preferred cities and towns. With this information, you can determine whether you're pursuing a home in a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
Furthermore, it may be beneficial to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house.
2. Know Where You Want to Go
Establish homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. If you know what differentiates your dream house from others, you can quickly and effortlessly search for residences that match your expectations.
Also, you may want to hone your home search to specific cities and towns. For example, if you want to find a house close to your office in the city, you may want to explore residences in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if your goal is to buy a house near the top schools in a particular state, you should narrow your house search based on school rankings and other pertinent data.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house is no small feat, and ultimately, there is no reason to try to navigate the homebuying journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can provide expert support throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is a must-hire, and for good reason. He or she will guide you along the entire homebuying journey and respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions. In addition, a real estate agent offers recommendations and suggestions to help you make informed decisions as you pursue your dream residence.
Usually, a real estate agent will learn about your homebuying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you. He or she next will keep you informed about available residences that meet your criteria and set up home showings. Once you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to acquire this house. And if your offer receives a "Yes" from a home seller, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can kick off a house search and discover your ideal residence in no time at all.
Once you decide to buy a home, you need to buckle in because you’re in for an emotional roller coaster. You need to be prepared for any type of situation. You’ll need to hunker down and save a significant amount of money for a downpayment. Securing the financing for your home will be at the top of your list. You just don’t want to find the home of your dreams only to find out that your offer is rejected, leaving you in a giant puddle of letdown.
If you have already experienced the pain of having your offer rejected on a home, fear not. Below, you’ll find some of the most common reasons why offers get rejected and what you can do about it.
You Can’t Afford The Home
If you try and get a house that you can’t afford, chances are that your offer will be rejected. You need to find a reasonable price point to shop for a home. Make sure that your real estate agent understands your budget and won’t show you homes that are above your budget. If you know you won’t be able to resist, you definitely shouldn’t risk finding a home that you love and is above your budget.
There Was A Better Offer
Especially in highly competitive markets, it’s easy for bidding wars to arise. A “war” may be avoided if buyers offer an amount far above the asking price. You always want to keep your offer as close to the asking price as possible. Never assume that other buyers will bid lower than the asking price. If you think like a seller, you’ll have a better shot at getting the home of your dreams.
Don’t Ask For Too Much
Nothing annoys a seller more than too many contingencies. Many buyers can get carried away here. It’s a good idea to speak with your realtor about the reality of what you hope to get in return for purchasing the home. Your agent can help you to figure out what’s a necessity to ask to be done in the home and what isn’t.
You Didn’t Get Pre-approved
Getting that pre-approval letter is oh so crucial to finding the right home. The seller wants the process to go as smoothly as you do. That means you need to get pre-approved before you even head into the field to search for a home. Some sellers may also only consider bids made by buyers who have been pre-approved.
If you do your research, you’ll be able to compete in any type of housing market. All you have to do is be prepared!
To get your offer accepted on a home you love, you need to do your homework. As a buyer, you want to keep the needs of the seller in mind. Although you want the best deal for yourself, you're more likely to get a property that you want if you compromise a bit.
Shopping for a new house can seem like an overwhelming experience because there are so many factors to consider.
The top priorities for the majority of house hunters include the quality of the school district, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall condition of the house. Price is also a major consideration, as is square footage, commuting distance, and the character of the neighborhood.
In many cases, house hunters have specific requirements in mind, ranging from privacy to the layout of the rooms.
Although your search will be much more efficient if you know exactly what you want, the process of looking at houses will help you clarify your preferences, needs, and design ideas for your next home. Touring houses online and browsing home decorating websites can give you a lot of useful ideas, but nothing compares to actually visiting houses and taking a close look at everything the property has to offer.
Working with an experienced real estate agent is often the best way to find a home that checks off most of your priority items and meets your expectations. Searching the real estate market on your own is like going on a self-guided tour of a large historical site or tourist attraction. Without expert guidance, you could easily overlook some of the best aspects of the property, and you could also miss some "red flags" and negotiating opportunities that only a trained real estate professional could recognize.
Other than price, location, size, and property condition, what are other key features you might want to keep your eye out for? Everyone has different priorities and "wish lists," but when you know what you want, you'll be a lot more likely to be satisfied with the outcome! While there is no shortage of house hunting checklists online, here's a quick overview of some of the features and property characteristics you'll want to keep in mind.
Although you'll generally want to have a home inspector take a close look at any home you've made an offer on, there are a few key things you can notice before you even get to that stage. The condition of interior walls, the roof, and basement are three areas worth paying close attention to. Wet basements are not uncommon, but they can cause damage to your foundation and many things you might want to store there. Wet basements are also breeding grounds for mold spores, so a chronically wet basement can potentially be hazardous to your health, too -- especially if you or your family is prone to allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. The Environmental Protection Agency is a good source of information on indoor air quality issues.
There are literally dozens of other details you'll want to pay attention to in prospective homes, including amount of storage space, the size of the back yard, privacy -- or the lack, thereof -- the house's distance from the street and other houses, the neighborhood noise level, the amount of street traffic, the reputation of nearby schools, and convenience to shopping centers, medical facilities, transportation, recreation, and entertainment. Other desirable features include a nice patio or deck, a garage, a fully functional HVAC system, updates to bathrooms and the kitchen, and enough room in the house for your growing family, overnight guests, and the occasional holiday party.
For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, identifying your target buyer is key. Because if you understand why buyers may choose your residence over other available houses, you can promote your home to the right groups of buyers. And as a result, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the house selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your target buyer so you can promote your house effectively and speed up the home selling process.
1. Consider the Buyer's Perspective
Think about why a buyer should choose your residence. Then, you can find ways to promote your house's features to the right groups of buyers.
Ultimately, a home listing can make a world of difference, particularly for those who want to engage and inform prospective buyers about a residence. If you analyze the buyer's perspective, you can craft your house listing accordingly.
For example, if your residence is located just minutes from top beaches, you may want to include this information in your home listing. On the other hand, if your home offers multiple bedrooms, you may want to include high-resolution photographs of these bedrooms in your listing to show off the size and beauty of your house.
2. Conduct an Inspection
A home inspection generally is completed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase his or her house. But when it comes to identifying your target buyer, you may want to conduct an inspection prior to listing your residence.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying issues. You then can prioritize home upgrades, and as such, make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
With a home inspection, you may be able to gain insights into your residence that could be difficult to obtain elsewhere. Thus, if you perform an inspection, you can find ways to improve your residence so you can make your house an attractive option to dozens of prospective buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about how to target buyers, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert home selling advice any time you need it.
A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house and can help you address such issues. First, he or she will develop a personalized home selling strategy and help you showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. He or she next will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can recommend whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
Devote time and resources to learn about your target buyer – you will be glad you did. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can identify your target buyer and map out a successful house selling journey.