An important part of the home buying process is the home inspection. This is when you will hire a professional to look for any major issues with the home prior to closing. The home inspection is a way for you to identify potential safety concerns, structural issues or functionality problems with the home before proceeding further into the buying process.
1.Who you use as your home inspector is completely up to you as the buyer. We always have suggestions if you do not already have a relationship with a home inspection company.
2. The home inspection is paid for at the time of inspection by the buyer. This cost varies by inspector so plan on a cost of $300-$400 in town and if you are buying outside of the area there may be mileage costs.
3. We will take care of getting the home inspection scheduled for you and notify the sellers. The home inspection will need to happen as soon as possible, but generally within 10 business days of acceptance of offer.
4. Once schedule, we will let you know what time you should show up if you are available to do a final walk through. The inspector can explain any issues they find in detail while you are there and inform you of the severity of any problems.
5. The inspector will send you, as well as us, a detailed report of their inspection. We will then review the report together and determine if there are any requests to submit to the seller to fix or adjustments to be made to the offer.
6. Requests for the home inspection should generally fall in to one of the following categories: Safety Concerns, Functionality Problems or Structural Issues.
7. We will submit any requests formally in writing. The seller then responds either by accepting to handle the requests, or they may want to re-negotiate themselves.
8. Once the requests are fully agreed upon in writing, the buying process continues to the next step.
With Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix becoming more and more popular, the whole world has found the motivation to start the decluttering process looking for those things in their home that “spark joy”. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try only spending 30 mins a day until you’ve gone through everything.
The best part about having a clutter-free home is having a relaxing, stress-free space to come home to every night.
1.) Old Mail/Junk — Start with the junk mail and old bills that have been sitting on your counter or shoved in a drawer for months. Get rid of all garbage you have laying around your house. If you don’t have a use for it, throw it away.
2.) Pantry — Throw out all expired food in your pantry and your fridge. Use this time to deep clean your pantry and fridge as well since we all know it hasn’t been cleaned in months. Put your flour, sugar, cereal etc. in matching containers to make everything look like it has a place.
3.) Toys — Go through your children’s toys. Keep the good quality toys that’ll last them for another couple of years and get rid of anything broken or missing pieces. Donate the toys that they’ve grown out of. Keep the toys in bins or a toy box so there’s always a place for them. Have a bookshelf for all of their books.
4.) Junk Drawers — I’ve never been in a home that doesn’t have a junk drawer. Empty it completely out, throw away all old pens that no longer work, old batteries, and whatever else you find that doesn’t have a use in your life. Once you’ve gone through the whole drawer, put everything back into a utensil organizer to keep everything in it’s place.
5.) Closet — Empty out your closet and drawers. Donate anything that no longer fits you. Throw away any clothing with bleach stains or tears in it. Then go through the remaining and only keep the items you really love. Added bonus, it’ll make it easier to get dressed in the morning!
6.) Decor — Nothing clutters a home more than too much decor! Pick a few pieces that you really love to display. If you can’t part with everything then store the remaining pieces and switch them out every few months for some change.
7.) Storage — Everything should have a place. If you have a place for everything it makes it much easier to put it away when you’re done using it and keep everything out of sight. Get a TV stand with drawers so you have a place to put the remotes, a new nightstand that has some extra storage and that new coffee bar you’ve been eyeing. You can never have too much storage.
The most important part of the decluttering process is keeping up with it. Continue to put things where they go and throwing out any expired food or old mail. If you notice you haven’t worn a shirt in awhile, donate it. If you notice you no longer like the decor in your home, sell it and put out something new. Ask yourself whether an item is useful or not, or in the words of Marie Kondo: "Does is Spark Joy." If the answer is no, then its time to let it go and start creating a world free from unneeded things and stress.
For those of you thinking about selling your home in the next 6 months, this is also a great way to make the process of getting your home on the market easier and less chaotic. Homes free from clutter and unnecessary items make a much better first impression to potential buyers and show just how clean, clear and inviting their future home can be.
Remodeling your home can be a daunting task. Having a construction crew in your home day in and day out, not having a functioning kitchen or bathroom, or constantly cleaning up sawdust might be holding you back. Maybe it’s the cost of a full remodel. What if it was possible to update your home without a construction crew and keeping it budget friendly? Here are some quick updating tips that will help you love your home a bit more:
1.) Paint your kitchen cabinets - This isn’t necessarily an easy task as it is labor intensive in order to do it right, but with a few you tube tutorials, you can definitely handle it. Cleaning all your cabinets and cabinet doors, sanding everything down, priming, painting, and then putting everything back together is very time consuming. BUT it is budget friendly. Painting your cabinets can instantly transform your whole kitchen. While you’re at it, switch out your cabinet pulls.
2.) Change out door knobs - One thing that can instantly date a home is old brass doorknobs. Switch all of them out in your home so they all match to either an oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel. Choose more modern designs as well to add a little extra interest.
3.) Update your Faucets - Switch out the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms to match your doorknobs. Having everything in unison makes all of your updates look intentional and more put together.
4.) Install New Outlet Covers - You’ll be surprised at how much an outlet can change your space. Getting rid of the old yellowed outlets will instantly brighten up your home and make it feel more new and contemporary.
5.) Curb Appeal - If your home looks dated from the outside, painting your front door or staining your deck a different tone can instantly spruce up the look. Planting some flowers or shrubs in front of your home, and updating your address plate can also help.
6.) Paint your walls - Your walls should really be painted every few years to keep everything looking fresh and to keep up with home trends. It gives your walls a nice clean look. Whether you choose bold colors for an accent wall, or maintaining a neutral pallet, new paint makes everything feel brand new.
So if your home needs a bit of a facelift and you are willing to spend some time over the weekend, consider any of these projects. Remember to take before and after photos for all of your social media friends to see the results of your labor as well. We know they will “like” it.
MAKE MINOT HOME TEAM
KW INSPIRE REALTY, KELLER WILLIAMS
12 S. MAIN ST. MINOT
One of the hardest parts of the home buying process is saving up for a down payment. While renting may seem like the easier choice, buying a home may be the most gratifying purchase of your lifetime. Instead of daydreaming over paint samples and tile options of a home that seems just out of reach, why not be proactive and start the saving process? Here are some helpful tips on saving up quickly.
1.) Fake your mortgage - If you know how much you would like to spend per month as a mortgage payment, put that amount into a savings account every month. Set a payment date on the calendar and always “pay” on time. Whether that is the first of the month or the day after pay day, as long as you don’t miss a payment.
2.) Save your bonus - Take your holiday bonus from work, your tax return or any Christmas or birthday gifts of money and add it into your savings account.
3.) Take control of your spending - Instead of dining out every night, start cooking your meals at home. Put the money you would’ve spent at a restaurant into your savings account instead. Every time you have some extra spending money and would like to go on a shopping spree, instead put that extra money away.
4.) Get a second job - If you have some extra time on your hands, get a second job where your entire paycheck can go towards your down payment. This doesn’t have to be long term! Anything will help you reach your goal.
Saving for a down payment isn’t easy. You will have to make some sacrifices, wearing those old shoes in your closet you haven’t worn in awhile instead of buying the new pair you’ve been eyeing and spending the extra time making your meals at home. In the long run, it will be one of the best things you will ever do.
On top of all that you can do for yourself, get educated on the different loan programs you may be eligible for. Most consumers think they need significantly more money for a down payment on a house than is actually needed. We can help connect you with local lenders to assist you through the lending process.
I hope these tips will give you the motivation to start saving and turn those paint samples you’ve been collecting into painting the walls of your first home.
Lets face it…remodeling can be daunting. Homeowners will talk about it for years and years, but when it actually comes down to making the final decisions, it can be next to impossible. There are so many options to choose from it can be difficult to commit. From counter tops, flooring styles and colors, cabinetry, fixtures….the list goes on and on. The other problem with large remodeling projects is the cost. The cost can add up fast with each new item, not to mention the labor costs to have a professional take care of the job. This is also why some people find it hard to commit to the project. A person wants to make certain if they are going to spend large amounts of money that they get it right. But how can you know with so many options to choose from?
What if there was a way to give a room or your whole home a complete facelift without the long term commitment and without breaking the bank? There is one inexpensive option that can make a huge impact. Whether you are looking to give your home a new feel for yourself, or you are looking to sell and want your home to make a fresh and modern first impression, paint is a very cost effective project that can make an instant difference. There are endless colors to choose from and with a little time and finesse, paint may just give you the biggest bang for your buck. Painting an accent wall, updating that old eggshell colored bathroom or adding some character to an otherwise boring bedroom may just be exactly what your home needs. Check out this fantastic example of using BOLD colors to make a huge difference.
Winters in North Dakota are unlike anything that I had ever experienced growing up. It is not unusual for temperatures to fall well below zero, even without the wind chill factor . The very first winter that I was exposed to in North Dakota, 20 out of 31 days were in negative degree weather . I found myself in disbelief and could not understand how anyone would subject themselves to living in a place where temperatures dropped that low. I cannot say that I have become accustom to the weather since then, but I have however found ways to adapt.
There are several instances where winter will decide that the weather has been too “decent” and greet us with a winter storm. On numerous occasions my wife and I have found ourselves either not wanting to, or simply unable to leave our home. Here are some helpful recommendations  when preparing for winter in North Dakota and the inevitable storms that come along with it:
1. If you do not have a wood burning fireplace in your home, obtain an alternate source for emergency heat. Many storms have the potential to leave you without power for a short or substantial period. You will want to ensure that you have an adequate supply of fuel (wood; coal; kerosene; propane; etc.).
2. Have an emergency food supply on hand, just make sure that it is something that you and your family will eat. It is suggested that you have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods . Some items that would work well for your emergency supply would be peanut butter, cereal or granola, fruit bars, canned juices, etc. For me, nothing is worse than being cold except for being cold AND hungry.
3. Have an emergency medical supply or first aid kit on hand. Just as you may not be able to leave your home due to weather, help from emergency services may not be immediately available during a winter storm.
4. Have battery-operated equipment readily accessible. I learned this the hard way as I was fumbling around searching for a flashlight in the dark during a power outage one year. In my opinion, having a plethora of flashlights accompanied with additional and backup batteries, is significantly safer than burning candles especially if you have small children. Although my wife is an avid candle collector, she has reluctantly agreed with me on this after our little started crawling and climbing on everything. In addition to having flashlights, you will want to make sure that you have a radio or some other source to obtain weather updates and information.
5. Have some board games or card games available. Being stuck inside can be difficult enough and if you are without power having fun things to do will help to pass the time. It is also a great opportunity to spend time together enjoying one another’s company.
For more winter information and helpful suggestions, www.minotnd.org/189/Winter-Weather is a fantastic resource.
If you find yourself isolated and confined to your home at any point this winter (and still having power), make sure that you have plenty of good movies, blankets, and some hot chocolate; enjoy your complimentary North Dakota “snow day”!
Article by Jordan Douglas, www.makeminothome.com
If you are anything like me, or many others, the sheer thought of moving is exhausting. Moving day can be an enormous undertaking and can be extremely stressful. Having had the opportunity to embark on this joyous endeavor on more than one occasion, I have become well acquainted with the process. Here are some of the lessons I have learned over the years that hopefully will assist you when moving day comes for you.
1. Plan Ahead
More likely than not, we are aware of when and where we are going to be moving. Granted there are some occasions where moving is short notice and there is not much time to prepare but most likely this is not the case. Leaving things for the last minute ultimately causes undue, unnecessary and avoidable stress. If you take the time to pack a little at a time each day or even each week, you will find that as the official moving day arrives, the process becomes significantly easier.
Additionally, you will want to notify “The Crew” of when you will be moving to ensure that they can plan appropriately. Make sure that you follow-up with them as the moving day approaches to confirm their availability and willingness to help. Nothing is worse than counting on people to assist you with moving and ending up rolling your antique dresser down the stairs on your own. Food is a great motivator and so I have found that enticing participation through nourishment is a powerful strategy that has not failed me yet.
2. Organize and Purge
Probably one of my favorite things about moving, other than the arriving at my new location, is the ability to, regrettably, let my wife know that her favorite pair of shoes that she has worn twice in the last 6 years must have gotten “lost” during our move. Packing for a move forces you to go through all of the unnecessary and useless items that have accumulated over the years. It is the perfect opportunity to rid yourself of that awful sweater your mother sent you that you took one photo in to prove that you loved and appreciated her gift. De-cluttering and purging your items while you are packing assists on both ends of the moving process. On the front-side, you don’t have to pack as much and if you are smart about it, you may be able to accumulate some petty cash for your move by hosting a garage sale before moving day. You could also donate your gently used items. On the backside, there is less to unpack when you arrive at your destination, you don’t have to find a place to stash the items you don’t need or use anymore, and you have a new clean slate to accumulate new “stuff”.
Organization is paramount when you are moving, at least to me it is. Packing a bowl with your dress shoes and the grill accessories simply doesn’t make any sense. It creates chaos that can easily be avoided if you take the time to organize and label while you pack. Put like items together, or at the very least, items that belong to the same room and label them appropriately and as descriptively as you can. If you are going to use cardboard boxes during your move, you can write directly on the box or in the area that many boxes have specifically for labeling. If you are going to use plastic containers for your move, do NOT write on the box itself with a permanent marker. Doing this renders the box incapable of being utilized for anything other than what you wrote on the box (my wife may argue this point, but I simply would not be able to use it again). Instead you could create a home-made label to affix to the container that could easily be removed after the items have been unpacked.
3. The “Unpack First Box”
Over the years I have learned that when I am have finally arrived at my new location, I found myself searching for a variety of items like garbage bags, a screw driver, or that allen wrench that was specifically designed for that one piece of furniture. It can be extremely frustrating and time consuming trying to track down items that you need immediately once you are moved in and ready to unpack.
To avoid this situation occurring to you, I have implemented the “pack last” or “unpack first” box. You will want to have the essential items that you will need immediately, or shortly upon arriving to your new location. Things to include in this box would be: toilet paper; garbage bags; cleaning supplies; light bulbs; batteries; a screw driver; and any other item(s) that you may need.
4. Essential Services and Deliveries
You should not plan your move around the time of any major sporting event, or your favorite television series season finale. If you do however, you will want to make sure that you have scheduled for the cable company to have your services available for when you are moved in. now that the necessities are taken care of, you will want to ensure you know how your utility bills are going to transfer and who your new water, electric, gas, etc. service provider is going to be. This can easily slip to the way side during the packing and moving process but make a note to schedule for these things to be taken care of well in advance before moving day is upon you.
Lastly, I definitely forgot this the last time I moved, you will want to get a change of address form from your post office so that you can make sure you will be receiving mail at your new location. Additionally, if you have done any online shopping or made any purchases that will be delivered, make sure that you have the appropriate address or that you schedule the delivery for after you have moved in.
5. Make Friends
The last bit of advice I can give is to get to know your neighbors. Take some baked goods around the neighborhood and get to know the people that you will be seeing on a more regular basis. Moving can be stressful and if you are relocating to a new city or even state, you may not know anyone at all. Getting to know your neighbors will help with the adjustment of being in a new place but it will also allow you to build relationships with the people that will be looking over your residence when you decide to take that much needed vacation.
Article by Jordan Douglas, www.makeminothome.com