Jill Finkelstein - Compass



Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 9/15/2019

Purchasing a home is a life-changing decision, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the homebuying journey, such as:

1. Determine Where You Want to Live

There is no shortage of high-quality houses available across the United States. Now, you just need to determine where you want to reside, and you can hone your house search accordingly.

Think about your long-term plans as you consider where you want to live. For instance, if you enjoy life in the big city, you may want to search for houses in or near the city of your choice. On the other hand, if you want to start a family in the near future, you may want to explore residences near parks and other family-friendly attractions.

Ultimately, it helps to narrow your home search to a few cities and towns. Because if you know where you want to live, you can quickly navigate the homebuying journey.

2. Establish a Budget

A budget is a must-have for any homebuyer, at any time. If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can search for residences that fall within your price range.

Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different types of mortgages. Then, you can select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Don't forget about home inspection, closing and other property buying fees, either. If you account for these property buying costs, you can ensure you have the necessary funds available to cover them.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a difference-maker for a homebuyer. He or she is happy to teach a homebuyer about the ins and outs of the real estate market. As a result, a real estate agent will help you become a homebuying expert.

Typically, a real estate agent offers recommendations and insights throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and help you establish homebuying expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you kick off a search for homes in your preferred cities and towns. When you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this home. And if your offer to purchase is approved, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final stages of the homebuying journey.

Furthermore, a real estate agent can provide assistance any time a homebuyer has concerns or questions. A real estate agent strives to help you make informed homebuying decisions. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to educate you about the homebuying cycle and ensure you are ready to find and buy your ideal residence.

Simplify the process of finding your dream home Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can prep for the homebuying journey.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 9/8/2019

Pets are a reasonably common sight in a lot of houses today, with a wide variety of options that can include dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and goldfish. However, these warm and friendly animal companions often come with their own odors, which if left unmanaged may become a tough challenge. However, by following some of the ideas and suggestions listed, you should be able to get rid of pet odors from your home entirely

  • Vacuum Thoroughly. The elimination of any odors must involve the process of vacuuming. It's not uncommon to find pet fur trapped in carpets and furniture around the house, and they need to be gotten rid. Take all the furniture apart, beddings, chair covers, cushion seats, etc., and then vacuum thoroughly. Sprinkle a surplus of baking soda over all the furniture and let them sit for a few hours, and then vacuum once again. The baking soda absorbs all the trapped odor for you.
  • Take Your Stuff Out To The Sunlight. Leave all your furniture, upholstery rugs and any other material that you have got tainted with pet odor, outside in the sunlight. Sunlight is an excellent natural bleaching agent and will help remove any smell trapped within the fibers that the vacuum cleaner couldn't get. It's also a great idea to air out your house for a few days Ė open up all doors and windows so fresh air and sunlight can make its way home.
  • Find the source of the odors. Before the odors came, the cause of the odors arrived, so find them and get rid of them. Often, the scent may already be worked up into the floors or any other part of the house that cannot be aired. If its dog pee, you'll need to dry it up with paper towels or a mop. When done, you will need to use either a vinegar solution or an enzymatic cleaner to break down the odors. You may also decide you want to go with a professional stain and odor remover to finish the job. Whatever you do, make sure you get a cleaner that is not toxic to the health of your pets to prevent accidents.

Getting rid of pet odors doesn't have to be a big deal, you can easily carry out all these suggestions and have your house selling as good as new. Ask your local pet store for nontoxic cleaners to use at your home.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 9/1/2019

For frequent hosts owning your own home is an exciting upgrade to your hospitality skill set. A home large enough to include a guest room for friends and family to stay the night allows you to provide a homey overnight stay that trumps a hotel experience every time.

To create the perfect home away from home guest room for visitors just follow this guide.

First things first, keep it tidy over time. Donít fall to temptation and use it as a catch-all storage room. This will just lead to more clean up before guests arrive and detract from the home away from home experience if they feel like they are staying in a glorified storage closet.

Before guests arrive freshen up the room by dusting, cracking a window for fresh air, spritz linens with a spray, and vacuum the floors.

Stock your guest bathroom well with toilet paper, tissues, q-tips and cotton balls. Keep two full matching sets of towels folded up nicely and in the open for guests to easily grab. Take a page from the hotel room playbook and have decorative shelving for this very purpose. Either mount shelving to the wall or find a standalone unit that matches your decor.

Have toiletries on hand in case guests have forgotten any while packing. Include new, individually packaged toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and travel size deodorants for example. It is always thoughtful to stock the medicine cabinet with the basics.

Stock up on luxurious soaps, lotions, and shampoos to keep on hand in your guest bathroom. Itís best to also keep these out in the open so it is obvious to guests it is for their use. Tiered cake stands, catch-all bowls and clear jars are a great way to put these stylishly on display.

Offer the perfect sleeping experience by including a light bedding option and a warmer one - no matter the season. An ottoman at the foot of the bed with extra blankets and pillows will help guests feel at home to set up the bed their way.

Lay down on the bed to get a feel for how it would be for your guests. In fact, interacting in the room as if you are your guest is a great way to discover what your room is missing. Offer plenty of lighting. Bedside lamps in addition to the ceiling light allow guests to create ambiance or stay up reading while their partner snoozes.  

Decorate the room to keep it cohesive with and as homey as the rest of the house. Hang pictures of friends and family. Frame a decorative image that has your wifi network and password readily available for guests to log in. Include fresh cut flowers and seasonal decor.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 8/25/2019

Once you move in with a partner, you know you have reached an important milestone in your relationship. For the first time, you could be talking about money with your partner. Whether youíre moving into an apartment or buying a home together, itís important to break down how youíll merge your finances together. 


While itís one of the least romantic conversations that youíll probably have as a couple, sharing your financial situation is one of the most vital. Below youíll find some tips on starting that conversation and making it a smooth one.


Be Honest


In any relationship, honesty and communication are key. This is especially true when it comes to finances. Thereís a lot that goes into your own financial picture, and itís important that you share that with your partner. This is important for everything that will happen in the future including purchasing a home. Some things that your partner should know:


  • How much loan debt you have
  • A rough idea of your credit score and history
  • Your income
  • Your spending habits
  • Your saving habits

Itís important to know how another personís habits will affect you as a whole when youíre thinking of making an investment together like a piece of property. Everyone handles money differently, and you should know how someoneís spending habits meshes with yours. Do they live paycheck to paycheck? Do they save money regularly? Are they financially strained? All of these questions help you to understand where you are similar and where you are different when it comes to money.



Have A Plan For How Youíll Divide Expenses


It may seem like a 50/50 split on expenses makes the most sense. For many couples it does. In other situations, if one person makes more money, they may need to pay a bit more of the costs. Some couples have one person pay the rent while the other takes the utilities on as an expense. Take amounts and percentages that you feel comfortable with and do what wrks best for the both of you. 


Remember that chores count too when it comes to dividing up the ďexpenses.Ē This is just an extra tip that will help you to build a stronger relationship in the long term and help to save arguments.


Use A Joint Account For Expenses


You should still keep your own bank accounts when you move in with a significant other.  All of your money shouldnít be funneled into one singular account. Create a separate bank account for your expenses like rent or mortgage and utilities. All of your personal expenses should come out of your own respective accounts. 


Make Contracts


No matter how much you feel that you can trust a person, itís always good to put everything in writing. This way, if there are any disputes in the future, youíll always have a contract that you can refer back to. Itís also important to have these documents for things like security deposits or down payments. If the relationship ends at any point, itís important for the person who paid for certain things to get their money back.     


Planning and tracking your finances when you move in with a significant other is important. It will certainly make your life easier if you have these conversations beforehand.





Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 8/18/2019

For the most part, itís safe to say we all know to come prepared when buying an older home. But did you know that the buying process of a new construction home comes with its own quirks? The customization and relationship with the builder through the process makes for a unique experience when buying a new construction home.

Hereís what you need to know:

Some developments have site registration policies. This means that they require you to come with your agent for at least the first couple visits. Donít be caught off guard. When planning your viewings be prepared to work with your agent's schedule as well as your own.

Instead of asking to lower the cost ask when negotiating ask the builder to pay closing costs or to include upgrades. Youíll have an easier time getting a yes to these requests as builders donít like to lower costs and gain a reputation for doing so in the process.

New construction homes arenít a final product when purchasing. Because of this, itís critical to get details on paper to protect yourself during the buying process. Details to include are how the home will be finished, any and all timelines, and what will happen if, for whatever reason, the home is not finished in time. Get all of this in writing to create a binding contract.

Ask questions! When touring the model house be sure to ask what comes standard and what is an upgrade. Get costs of upgrades that catch your eye so that you can plan your budget. When planning this budget you will also want to leave wiggle room as this will be a quote and not final cost. Your agent can help you create a list of common features that are standard and/or upgradable as well as ballpark costs.

Budget Tip: When deciding on upgrades know which are easier to have done during construction. Prioritize those over those that can easily be done after. Think upgrades that include wiring or getting into walls and ceiling for whatever reason.

New construction homes often come with a warranty. Itís important to know what this covers and what it doesnít. Understand your cancellation rights and hire a real estate lawyer to review contracts and any important documents.  

Research the builder and if possible talk to other residents in the neighborhood. Ask them about their experience both during the buying process and living in the development afterward.

One thing that often catches home buyers off guard is when the builder requires you to get pre-approved by their lender even if you use your own lender. This is to safeguard themselves by ensuring you pass their lenders requirements for a safe investment. Itís also important to keep in mind that you may even get better rates and fees from the builder's lender.







Jill Finkelstein