How To Vet An Offer

Many sellers may be tempted to select the highest offer they receive, but there are several other factors to consider. Here are five areas important to evaluate.

Down payment. The size of the down payment should be heavily considered when comparing offers. It is often tied to the size of the loan the buyer is taking out and a larger one indicates higher financial stability.

Earnest money deposit. The EMD is the sum of cash the buyer is willing to put up when the sales agreement is signed to show their high level of interest in purchasing the home. If they back out of the transaction without a good reason, the seller typical keeps it, and if the sale goes through, it typically goes towards their down payment.

Contingencies. Contingencies are standard for most offers and outline the evaluations and appraisals that need to be completed before the sale is final, such as financing, appraisal, sale of current home, title, and home inspection. The fewer contingencies, the higher the chance of reaching the closing table.

All-cash offer. Not only does putting down an all-cash offer boost the likelihood of loan approval, but the buyer will not need an appraisal or financing contingency, reducing the chance of the sale falling through.

Closing date. Consideration of the closing date differs for each seller. For example, if you have already purchased a new home, you may want to close quickly. But, if you are waiting on the money from the sale to start house hunting, you may be okay with a slower settlement.

Going Green Starts In The Kitchen

Living an environmentally-friendly lifestyle and helping to keep our planet clean isn’t as difficult as you may think. All it takes is a few small tweaks. To start, here are five great tips for going green in your kitchen!

Filter your water. Not only does this allow you to remove contaminants like lead, chloroform, chlorine, etc. from your drinking water at home, but you can save money and reduce waste by avoiding bottled water. Choose between a water-filtering pitcher or faucet-mounted option.

Reduce water usage. It’s a common misconception that running your dishwasher uses a lot of water, when in fact, it generally uses less than hand washing dishes. Just make sure to only run it when full and use the light wash and air dry settings. You can also purchase a low-flow aerator for your kitchen faucet to cut down on water usage.

Avoid unnecessary packaging. When grocery shopping, avoid single-serving products and produce packaged in styrofoam and shrink-wrap to reduce waste. At home, opt for reusable containers, such as jars and Tupperware, instead of foil, plastic wrap, and Ziploc bags.

Switch your cooking appliances out. Instead of using your full-size oven, consider using a toaster oven, microwave, or slow cooker instead. These appliances use between 30 to 50 percent less energy to heat.

Buy local. Shopping at locally-sourced stores or farmers markets does not only allow you to support your neighbors and community but is sustainable for the environment. The food you purchase does not have to travel far to get to you, helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Organize Your Closet Like A Champ

Do you desire a closet that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine? Then we have you covered! Follow the tips below to masterfully organize your closet and give yourself peace of mind.

Group like clothing items together. Group same-length dresses, long-sleeved shirts, blouses, pants, etc. together in your closet to both save space and create an esthetically-pleasing look. Add an extra bar. Need more hanging room? You can find additional closet bars in-store or online for under $20 and installation is fairly quick and easy. Then hang t-shirts, blouses, jackets, and more on the lower bar.

Keep things uniform. Although you may have to spend a little more upfront, purchasing matching hangers, organizers, and storage boxes will give your closet a cleaner look.

Invest in special hangers, dividers, and organizers. Purchase a few items to make closet organization a breeze, such as a space-saving pants organizer, shelf dividers to keep t-shirts, towels, or sweaters in place, or multi-shirt hangers that can fit up to 5 garments on one.

Try color-coding. Feeling magically inspired? Try organizing your closet by color. You can even place the colors in order of the rainbow to help make dressing easier and more fun.

Get creative with shoe storage. Shoes can take up a lot of room and keeping the pile neat and tidy can be difficult. Consider purchasing a shoe organizer that hangs on your closet door or install rails on the wall to hang high heels. You can also purchase cubby shelving or a shoe carousel to be placed on the closet floor.