The Best Home Staging Tips For Homeowners

Faced with a surplus of unsold homes, many would-be sellers are scrambling to make their properties stand out in today’s distressed real estate market. While the economic climate is beyond the property owner’s control, they can greatly increase their chances of making a sale by taking advantage of an often overlooked edge in the real estate market – home staging.

The main goal of home staging is for the potential buyer to mentally move in to the house. If they can’t feel and see themselves living in the home, they are not going to buy.

Here are some tips to help homeowners better position themselves in a slow-moving market.

Wow them with the outside to get them inside. The first thing a potential buyer notices about the home is not the kitchen but the yard. There is a misconception that home staging is the inside only, but the outside needs to be staged in order to get the buyers inside. The grass needs to be cut, hedges trimmed, leaves raked, sidewalks cleaned, and the driveway needs to be power-washed. There shouldn’t be a lot of potted plants, and dead plants should be dug up.

Pretend you’re traveling. When you are traveling, you only take the necessary items, right? Clutter will make a room appear small. Clutter gobbles up equity. It is best to go through every room in the house and separate items into two categories: “stay” and “go.” Items in the “stay” category will be used to stage the room, while those in the “go” category should be stored elsewhere.
Although a decluttered room may appear bare to you, the potential buyer won’t think so. You are not selling your belongings, you are selling the space. It is difficult for buyers to visualize the space when there is so much stuff in the room. This includes decluttering the outdoor space, too.

Hard and soft surface symmetry. When staging a room it is essential to have a nice balance of hard surfaces, such as a coffee table, and soft surfaces, like an area rug. An example of poorly balanced surfaces would be a family room with an 8-foot-long down-filled sofa, a chaise lounge, and three recliners. There are several soft surfaces and not enough hard surfaces. The room is drowning in soft surfaces. The love seat and recliners should be removed, and replaced with two club chairs. If your home has hardwood floors but no rugs, it’s too hard, so you want to add some area rugs.

Use ones or threes on hard surfaces. It is best to arrange items on top of hard surfaces in ones or threes. For example, place a lamp, a plant and a book on top of a hard surface, like an end table. Group the three items closely together in a triangle shape. Imagine a triangle on top of the hard surface and place one item at each point, and for smaller hard surfaces a single item will suffice.

View the room from the doorway. Potential buyers form their first impression of each room in the home from the doorway, you should use that viewpoint to evaluate the staged work. So if you are staging the home yourself make changes and go back to the doorway. Make some more changes and go back to the doorway again. That way, you will be looking at the room through the eyes of the buyer, and that will ensure that each room appeals to buyers.

Make your place “white glove clean.” A properly staged home should be immaculate -”white glove clean.” That means removing dead flies out of the windowsills, and cleaning around the bottom of your toilets (where the base of the toilet meets the floor). The reason for having the house spotless is more than just making it presentable. If the home is sloppy, the potential buyer will question what other – less visible issues may come with the property. They will say, “Whew, if they live like this, what else don’t they take care of that I can’t see?”

Health Is The Most Important Wealth

If you’re fortunate enough to have employer-provided health insurance, that narrows your options down to the plans that your employer offers. If you don’t have coverage through your job, perhaps an organization or association that you belong to will allow you to buy health insurance through them at a group rate.

Another option is to check your local Obamacare health insurance marketplace to see if you qualify for an upfront premium credit, which would get you reduced premium costs. Even if you don’t qualify for the credit right away, buying your health insurance through the marketplace means you may qualify for it when you file your tax return for the year.

If you can’t, or won’t, get health insurance from any of these sources, you’ll have to fall back on buying a private plan. It will give you the widest range of options, but likely will be far more expensive.

Decide which type of policy to buy

Health insurance policies come in a variety of basic types, although you may not have access to all of these options through your preferred source. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are a very common type of health insurance policy. With an HMO, you’re required to use healthcare providers within the policy’s network, and you have to get a referral from your primary care physician in order to see a specialist.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) are also quite common. A PPO health insurance policy has a network, but you’re not limited to in-network care — although using network providers is cheaper — and you don’t need referrals to see specialists.

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs) are a hybrid between HMOs and PPOs. You’re required to stick to the plan’s network, but don’t need referrals for specialists. Finally, Point of Service (POS) plans are a less common option that are essentially the opposite of an EPO. You’re not limited to the POS plan’s network, but do need a referral to see a specialist.

Of the four common types of plans, an HMO or EPO tends to be cheaper than a PPO or POS with the same level of coverage. However, if network coverage is poor in your area, or you’re uncomfortable limiting yourself to network providers, it may be worth paying a little more to get a PPO or POS policy.

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High deductible versus low deductible

All things being equal, the higher a plan’s deductible is, the lower the monthly premiums will be. A high deductible means that you’ll have to pay a lot of healthcare expenses yourself before the insurance policy kicks in, but if you have few or no medical expenses in a given year, these plans can be a bargain. Very low medical expenses means that you probably won’t surpass the deductible, even of a low-deductible plan, so getting a high-deductible plan keeps your insurance costs as low as possible while still protecting you in case something catastrophic happens.

If you decide to go the high-deductible route, getting a Health Savings Account (HSA)-enabled plan, and funding it with at least the equivalent of a year’s deductible, is your best option. An HSA plan neatly covers the biggest weakness of a high-deductible health insurance policy – namely, that you’d have to shell out a great deal of money on a major medical expense before the insurance would take over. If you have a full-year’s deductible tucked away in your HSA, you can just use that money to finance your share of the expenses, while simultaneously enjoying the triple tax advantage that an HSA offers.

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Comparing coverage

There are two major factors that affect how well a particular plan will cover your medical expenses: the plan’s network and its coverage policies. Even if you choose a plan with out-of-network options, like a PPO, you’re still better off using in-network health providers as much as possible because doing so will reduce your costs. And the rules that a given health insurance policy uses to decide what’s covered and what’s not – and how much the co-pays will be – can make a huge difference in how helpful a particular policy really is for you.

For example, if there’s a rather pricey medication that you take every day, you’ll definitely want to get a health insurance policy that lists that medication on its formulary. If you travel a lot, stick to plans that offer good out-of-area treatment options. And if you already have a primary care physician, you’ll definitely want to pick a plan that includes your doctor in its network.

Finding the best deal

If you’re stuck between two or three different policies and can’t decide which one to choose, try this exercise. Multiply the monthly premium by 12 to get your annual cost for a plan, then add in the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum. The result is the most you would end up spending on health care if you had one or more major medical expenses during the year. Do this calculation for each plan you’re considering, then compare the results. The plan with the lowest total is likely the best deal for you.

How to Select Your Insurance Advisor?

You must opt for a life insurance policy. If your finances allow, you must also get health insurance as well as home insurance. This way you would be able to save yourself from any sudden financial crisis. However, you need the best of persons when it comes to an insurance advisor. In this article, we will take you through five steps to hire the best LIC advisor in Delhi.

1. Always prefer a certified advisor

Your insurance advisor must have proper certification from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). This proves that he/she is not there to trick you or fraud you. Moreover, the guidelines laid down by this agency make sure that you are protected on all fronts. If a person is not certified by IRDA, legally he is not entitled to advise people on insurance. He may end up in jail. Therefore, before selecting an agent, make sure that he/she has all the necessary certifications.

2. He must be through with investment solutions

You must understand that insurance agents are much more than just a salesman. They must have a proper understanding of financial planning. They should be equipped with all the necessary information about the financial world, both domestic as well as globally. More importantly, your LIC advisor should have a proper understanding of your family and financial standing. This way he would be able to suggest you the best insurance for you. It is advised that you should first develop a good friendship with the advisor and only then allow him to enter your financial realm.

3. He must have a complete understanding of the product he wants to sell

The insurance advisor must have a thorough knowledge of all the insurance policies that his/her company sells. You should sit down and have a long conversation with him about the pros and cons of various policies. You must understand that every insurance company sells a hell lot of policies. Not all policies are meant for you. Your insurance advisor must suggest you the best policy for yourself after understanding your family and finances.

4. Does the follow-up?

He/she is a cheap insurance advisor if he/she forgets you after you have bought the insurance policy. This is not what a responsible advisor does. Even after you have bought the policy, you may have a hell lot of questions to be answered. He/she must update you about the product premium and all the necessary details to make the best of your insurance.

5. He must help you while fulfilling your claim

When a claim arises, an advisor plays a very important role. He is the sole contact person between the insurance provider and the policyholder. He must understand all the formalities that need to be fulfilled for a successful claim. If your claim is denied there was no point in opting for that insurance policy. A good insurance advisor will stand by you when you need him/her the most.