Images of owning your own pool often include relaxing in clear blue water, stretching out on an elegant lounge chair in the sun or enjoying a perfect beverage as the sun sets. However, these images never include testing the water, cleaning the pool, being swarmed by insects or struggling to keep everyone around the pool safe. To successfully enjoy a pool in your yard, you need to consider the pros and cons of the endeavor.
Pools aren't cheap. If you're going to stay put in your home, the high installation price may eventually be worth it to you, but you likely won't recoup it when you sell the house. That being said, aging in place can be easier with a pool if you can use it frequently to maintain your physical strength and range of motion. Take care to confirm that tasks, such as changing filters and adding chemicals, can be done easily and with little stooping in the future.
Make sure to think about safety before installing a pool. Young children can quickly get themselves in trouble if left alone in proximity to a pool. When reviewing your insurance protections, get things checked out to make sure that your yard includes proper protections, such as fences. According to Gomez Trial Attorneys, property owners that have pools are responsible for the safety of their premises. Do not skimp on the security around your house. You might want to put in a pool alarm that will notify you of activity in the pool when you're not outside.
Your pool can be an integral part of your landscape or a standalone feature in or on top of your yard. Your first concern should be safety, so make sure the deck around your pool has a great grip. If you're planning to have swimmers of all ages included, be sure to add steps that are easy to manage. Include sturdy handrails to help older adults and kids get safely in and out of the pool. It's easy to incorporate a concrete deck with a slate pattern that blends well with your foundation and home. Envy Exteriors suggests using travertine because it absorbs water fast and adds a beautiful touch to your yard.
If you live in an area that will allow you to keep your pool full of water all year round, it may be worth the investment to install one. For those in colder climates, an above-ground pool might be a better choice. Whenever possible, add a decorative feature that will make it easy to get to filters, pumps and chemicals.
(BPT) - Homebuyers and sellers today can instantly check listings, monitor price fluctuations, research their credit scores and find lenders - all from their smartphones.
The advent of mortgage industry apps - which mingle aggregated data with complex algorithms in easily accessible formats - enables many shoppers and sellers to approach the process with more confidence.
While technology empowers consumers to shop and sell smarter, it can't replace the service and expertise of an experienced agent. Real estate agents know the local market and have access to the freshest sales data.
For sellers, real estate agents can price a house in line with the market to maximize earnings.
According to recent data from the National Association of Realtors, sellers using an agent earn $40,100 more per transaction. The median sale price for the 88 percent of sellers who worked with an agent was $215,000, versus a median sale price of $174,900 for the 9 percent of sellers who didn't use an agent, according to the association.
Buying a home is not like purchasing a plane ticket according to Greg Jaeger, president at USAA Residential Real Estate Services and a former real estate agent. He said buyers and sellers often fail to account for the psychological side of a transaction.
"An agent can help prepare the seller for offers that are intentionally too low," Jaeger said. "You're asking $250,000 for your home; I offer $200,000 and you're immediately insulted. An agent can keep you calm and focused on the end game."
Agents also help buyers navigate the rollercoaster of emotions in getting credit approved or viewing a home inspection report for the first time.
Jaeger knows of this psychological value not only as a former agent, but also as a father of a first-time homebuyer. His 24-year-old son recently bought an older home that was initially chockfull of cheaply done rehabilitation projects.
"The seller was pretty irritable about some items and flat out embarrassed about others," Jaeger said.
"My son's real estate agent really earned his commission in making sure the proper repairs were on track and protecting my son from the ire of the seller."
Homes, neighborhoods and their governing state laws are as diverse as the people living in them. Real estate agents are entrenched in those ever-changing state regulations, contracts, laws and practices.
"When making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, it's important to have a trusted, experienced counselor by your side," Jaeger said.
Many resources are available to help consumers find the right agent, including USAA Real Estate Rewards Network, a program that gives members access to USAA's network of real estate agents and rewards when they buy or sell.
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