A Guide to Online Furniture Shopping

Shoppers are more confident than ever in making purchases online. Moreover, younger generations are more likely to make their purchases online, which means the e-commerce industry shows no signs of slowing down. This comes as no surprise in an economy where many of us are hoping to save a few pennies when we can, and what better way to find the best deal than to compare prices online?

Buying furniture online is no different. In busy cities where many people do not have a means to transport furniture, the prospect of having a new dresser delivered right to your home for free is appealing. Online furniture shopping offers a wider variety and sometimes better prices than a brick-and-mortar experience. So, the question is, should you make your next furniture purchase online?

Here are some things to consider before clicking the “check out” button on your next furniture purchase.

Shipping and returns

Have you ever bought clothing online only to find out that it didn’t fit when it was delivered? You can face the same problem with furniture. It’s important to check beforehand with the online store what the shipping and return details are. If you are worried that there might be fine print in the company’s “free returns” policy, get it in writing from a customer service representative that there will be no fees and that shipping labels will be provided.

Customer reviews

One of the beautiful things about online shopping is the ability to find honest, sometimes ruthlessly so, feedback about the company or furniture item. Never make a purchase without reading the reviews. With online shopping no news does not equal good news. If there are no reviews, look for a similar item that has plenty of positive feedback.

Get to know the company

Buying furniture is a commitment, and an expensive one at that. If you walked into a furniture store that was filled with cheaply-made items with no employees in sight, you probably wouldn’t make the purchase. The same goes for online purchases. Check out the website, read the “About Us” and testimonials. If the website looks like something that you used to wait for 20 seconds to load on your AOL dial-up, you might want to steer clear.

Don’t depend on the photos

Things don’t always look the way they do in the pictures. You might order a coral sofa to find that it’s hot pink. The texture of fabrics looks different in images, and some photos are edited to give furniture smooth edges where they don’t exist. If the store has a brick and mortar location, you could go in to try before you buy. If not, request a color or fabric  swatch to be sure it’s the right fit for your home.

Double check your measurements

Before you check out, go back and read the item description to be sure that the product your buying is the correct size and dimensions. Similarly, double check the measurements at home.

Follow these pointers and you should have a good online furniture shopping experience. But if you don’t, be sure to leave a review on their site for the next potential customer.

Do This Checklist Before You Consider Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of the largest commitments you will make in your life. It’s also one of the best. Being a homeowner comes with a sense of independence that renting simply can’t match. You can do with your home whatever you like, making it the place you love to go home to at the end of the day.

Knowing when you’re ready to buy a home is a complicated issue. But it’s also a learning process that everyone is new to at some time in their lives. Sure, buying a home can be anxiety-inducing. But you don’t need to add any more nerves to the process because you feel uninformed. In this article, we’ll lay out a basic checklist that will help you determine when and whether you’re ready to buy a home so that you can worry less about your credentials and focus more on finding the right home.

The checklist

  • Finances.

    We hate to put it first, but the reality is your finances are one of the main things that determines your preparedness for becoming a homeowner. Unlike renting, there’s a lot more that goes into the home financing process than just your income.

    Banks will want to see your credit score to ensure you have a history of paying your bills on time. They’ll also use your credit information to see how much debt you have and if you’ll be able to take on homeowner’s expenses on top of that.

    Another financial impact for buying a house is to determine if you can afford a downpayment. It’s one thing to see that you can cover your bills with your income, but unless you have enough money saved for the downpayment (and any emergency expenses that may come up) you should wait a while and save before hopping into the market.

  • What are your longterm plans?

    Many people are excited at the thought of home ownership to the extent that they forget their life circumstances. If you have a job that might cause you to relocate in the next 5-7 years you might want to consider renting rather than buying.

    Depending on factors like the price of the home, cost of living in your area, and how long you plan on living in your new home, it may be cheaper to buy or rent in the long run. There are calculators available online that will tell you which option is probably more cost-effective for you. As a general rule, however, if you plan on living in a new home for under 5-7 years, it might be cheaper to rent.

  • Do you have the time and patience to be a homeowner?

    Owning a home means you can’t call on the landlord to fix your leaks anymore. Similarly, you probably won’t be able to depend on someone else to shovel snow or mow the lawn for you. It takes work to be a homeowner, and if your job has you away from home for long periods of time or working very long hours, renting might not be appropriate at this time.

  • Plan for new expenses.

    If you can comfortably pay rent and you find out your home loan payments will be comparable, you should know that there will likely be new expenses to consider as well. Home insurance, property taxes, and expenses for things like sewer, plumbing and electrical repairs all should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you will likely have new utility bills, including electricity, water, oil, cable, and others depending on the home.

Simple Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Want to boost your home’s value? Completing home improvement projects enables you to do just that, as you can perform these tasks regularly to maximize the value of your residence.

So which home improvement projects should you prioritize? Here’s a closer look at three important home improvement tasks that every home seller should consider:

1. Painting the walls.

Picking up a can of paint and various paint supplies ensures you can revitalize the walls in any room of your home instantly.

Over an extended period of time, the paint on your home’s walls may start to chip or peel. However, adding a fresh coat or paint (or two) to your residence’s walls serves as an inexpensive way to transform bland, unattractive walls into visually appealing ones.

Devoting even a few hours to paint the walls of your home can help you boost your home’s value. And ultimately, your new paint job may allow you to receive multiple offers at or above your asking price, too.

2. Installing a water filtration system.

Does your kitchen have a water filtration system? If not, you could be missing out on a golden opportunity to increase your residence’s value.

A water filtration system offers multiple benefits, as it ensures a homebuyer won’t necessarily have to worry about buying bottled water if he or she purchases your residence. Plus, this system is one of many features that may help differentiate your home from others in a highly competitive real estate market, thus making your residence that much more appealing to homebuyers.

Installing a water filtration usually is fast and easy as well. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about breaking your home improvement budget to complete this project.

3. Cleaning up the front lawn.

High grass and weeds will damage your home’s curb appeal and may significantly reduce your chances of a quick sale. On the other hand, spending some time mowing the lawn, raking leaves and performing other essential front lawn care tasks can deliver long-lasting benefits.

A clean front lawn likely is one of the first things a homebuyer will notice about your home. And home sellers who are committed to maintaining a pristine front lawn can improve their home’s value and their chances of a quick sale.

Also, maintaining your front lawn can be easy if you spend even an hour per day performing yard work. Or for those who want to avoid lawn work altogether, professional landscapers typically are available that can keep your front lawn in great shape until your home sells.

As a home seller, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to up your home’s value before you add your home to the real estate market. And with any of the aforementioned home improvement projects, you’ll be better equipped to boost the value of your home quickly and efficiently.

Stay focused on increasing your home’s value consistently and keeping your residence in excellent shape. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your eyes on the prize – maximizing your home’s value and selling your residence to the highest bidder.

Tips to Avoid Overpricing Your Home

For home sellers, maximizing the value of your residence is key. However, it is important to remember the dangers associated with overvaluing your house.

If you overprice your residence, homebuyers may choose to look elsewhere for their dream house. As such, it may take you many weeks, months or years to sell your residence if you fail to price it correctly from the get-go.

So what does it take to avoid the risk of overpricing your home? Here are three tips to help home sellers set a fair price for any residence, in any real estate market, at any time.

1. Review the Housing Market in Your Area.

Spend some time assessing the local housing market – you’ll be glad you did. This will enable you to better understand how your home compares to other residences in your city or town so you can price your house accordingly.

Check out the listing prices of homes that currently are available as well as the sold prices of residences that recently were purchased. By doing so, you’ll be able to collect a broad assortment of housing market data and use this information to determine the right price for your house.

2. Get Your Home Appraised.

A home appraiser will conduct an in-depth examination of your residence, help you identify problem areas and determine your house’s value. That way, you’ll be able to enter the real estate market with realistic expectations and set a fair asking price based on your home appraisal.

Furthermore, a home appraisal offers valuable insights into ways that you can improve your home. The assessment will allow you to learn about the pros and cons of your home, and ultimately, determine the best ways to transform your house’s weaknesses into strengths.

Don’t forget to evaluate your home’s interior and exterior as well. Completing home improvement tasks will improve your residence inside and out. Plus, performing home maintenance may allow you to set a higher asking price than you initially expected.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent.

Let’s face it – navigating the real estate market can be a long, arduous process. Thankfully, real estate agents are available that possess extensive industry experience and know-how, ensuring you can set the right price for your house without delay.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent understands the ins and outs of both buyer’s and seller’s markets. As such, he or she can offer recommendations about how to price your home, enhance your house’s interior and exterior and much more.

With the right real estate agent at your disposal, you should have no trouble setting a fair price for your home. In addition, this professional will do whatever it takes to promote your house to the right homebuyers consistently, bolstering your chances of optimizing the value of your residence.

Don’t leave anything to chance when you sell your home. Instead, employ a real estate agent, and you can speed up the process of selling your residence.