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5 Ways Buyers Can Make the Winning Bid

In a tough market, it pays to be prepared. Make sure you’re ready to pounce once you find your dream home with these five tips to help you place the winning bid.

1. Down Payment

There are plenty of low down payment mortgage options that can help you get into the home of your dreams, but saving up a larger down payment gives you leverage to offer more for your home in case you find yourself in a bidding war. Just remember to keep in mind how much home you can realistically afford when you’re considering offering more for a home.

2. Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one of the first steps to buying a home. Not only will it give you a solid idea of what you can afford to pay for your home, it will reduce the seller’s risk when choosing your offer over someone else’s in a multi-offer situation.

3. Know What You Want

Time is a critical factor when placing an offer in a tight market. While you sleep on your decision to put in an offer, other buyers could be making their move. So, as soon as you’re sure you want the home, take action!

4. Minimize Contingencies

The fewer conditions you add to your offer, the more appealing it will be to the seller. If you love the house, but hate the carpet, consider a renovation loan instead of requesting the seller install new flooring. Pick and choose your contingencies carefully.

5. Be Flexible

Most buyers have a very specific time frame they’re hoping to move during – one that lines up neatly with the end of their current lease or sale of their current home. If you can create some flexibility on when you need to close to better accommodate the sellers, it could give you a serious advantage.

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Modernizing Your Home Security

As technology evolves and becomes more affordable, homeowners should consider replacing their older equipment with a completely new security system, rather than patching together outdated units that provide specific functions in isolation.

A modern system will wake you up in the morning to your own personalized display screen, adjust your room temperature, turn on your lights and operate other household functions. When you leave the house, wireless technology will allow you to watch your property, both inside and out, from any number of computing devices. This means you can also program household functions from afar.

These newer residential security systems can coordinate a wide range of functions by remote control, from locking windows and closing the garage door, to adjusting the thermostat, drapery and lighting. They can even notify you if a room has been entered or a cabinet has been opened. Commercial-type closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) with live video feed are also being introduced to residential systems in many average-sized homes. In addition, these modern systems coordinate driveway and doorway cameras (connected to your home computer or TV), monitor for break-ins, provide smoke and CO2 detection, and include water sensors for the detection of a burst pipe, leaking water tank or an overflowing tub.

In the near future, residential video surveillance will distinguish pets from people, and even burglars from letter carriers. The latest CCTV cameras can identify intruders using motion or heat sensors or even activity pattern recognition (e.g. climbing a fence or jimmying a lock).