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Repairs and renovations best left to professionals when preparing your home for sale

If you’re about to put your home on the market and it needs some updates to garner the price that has you smiling, there are two things you should not cheap out on: doing it all yourself and investing in a professional stager. Okay. We won’t go into the staging part here. But we will say that pinching pennies on a remodel/refresh and failing to bring in professionals to do things right is not a good path to take. As Lexi Klinkenberg says in her Redfin article on the topic, “DIY solutions are a great way to save time and money with very little risk, but at times, neglecting the abilities of a pro can cause costly problems.”

Minimum Down Payment for First-Time Homebuyers

Someone once asked me: With the way the economy has taken a toll on savings accounts, the traditional 20% down payment seems out of reach for many first-time home buyers like myself. Are more first-timers going the route of 5%-15% down payments? Or should I wait until I've got the 20% saved?

I can answer your question in two ways because you're asking two separate questions.

Getting Your Ducks in a Row When Buying Your First Home

Believe it or not, many a homebuyer who may have saved up meticulously for years for the down payment on a house can end up flat-footed after the close of escrow. Why? Because often they have not thought about the expenses of homeownership that have nothing to do with their monthly mortgage payment.