Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
Every property has an assigned zone that controls how you can use it. In residential zones, for example, you often have to abide by restrictions regarding business activity and animal husbandry. Commercial and industrial zoning also comes with many restrictions for its use, limiting the types of businesses that can be operated in each zone. If you want to go beyond those usage restrictions, it is possible to request a zoning variance through the city. Here’s what to expect during that process.
Every city has its own process for zoning variance requests, though most follow similar procedures. To begin, you will likely need to fill out an application and pay a filing fee. Depending on the local requirements, your application may need to include blueprints, surveys, or photographs detailing your planned usage of the property.
Review of Request
After paying the filing fee, the application lands in front of the zoning board for review. The board members take a look at the property characteristics and proposed use of the land. They weigh how your planned usage will impact your neighbors and the surrounding environment. Depending on the nature of your request, they may send out a photographer and other officials to record information to use in the decision-making process.
Notification of Neighbors
Before the zoning board can make an official decision, they are usually required to notify your neighbors of your request. As a part of this notification process, you may need to display informative placards on the land. In addition to the details of your request, these notifications usually include the hearing date to allow all interested parties to attend.
Once notified, local property owners are given time to respond and air their grievances. The zoning board records all messages of support or objection that come their way, so they can take them into account during the official hearing. You can streamline this process by asking your neighbors for letters of support and include them in your application.
Hearing by Zoning Board
The hearing starts with a review of the notification procedures, verifying the board abided by the local laws. Then, the planning department is given time to inform the court about your zoning variance request and their findings.
After that, you are typically given a chance to plead your case and convince the board that approval is the right move. The planning department may be given time for rebuttals before they open up the floor to your neighbors. All interested parties have a limited amount of time to share their concerns or messages of support. Once they are finished, the fact-finding portion of the hearing is complete.
In some locations, the zoning board will immediately vote on the decision, while others make their determinations behind closed doors. If you do not receive an immediate decision, the zoning board will likely be in touch to schedule a final determination meeting. Either way, approvals are effective immediately, allowing you to move forward with your plans. If your request was denied, however, you may have up to 30 days to file an appeal.
Window sealants are sealing materials used to fill in cracks, holes, or openings around windows. A good seal is essential for protecting your windows’ lifespan. Gaps around a window let in the elements and end up increasing your energy bill. For home maintenance, preparing for the next season, or getting your house ready to sell, sealing your windows is a smart step.
Uses of Window Sealants
Window sealants function as a joint or point of contact between two spaces. The resulting barrier is resistant to gas, air, and also liquid. There is no one best sealant. Different sealants are necessary since each material has a specific sealant recommended for it. Metal window frames require a different sealant from a wood window or a vinyl clad window. Always check the requirements for your window type with someone knowledgeable about windows.
Types of Sealants
There are several types of window sealants commonly in use:
Silicone Sealants: A silicone sealant is mainly for use on windows in the bathroom, kitchen, shower, and toilet areas. Because they are subject to moisture that can cause the metal or wood to expand and contrast, these windows need a sealant that can also expand and contract. Also good for bonding materials that are subjected to vibration. Available in white and translucent color, it fits into your décor seamlessly.
Multi-Purpose Sealants: When two dissimilar materials join, such as wood and vinyl, metal or PVC, a multi-purpose sealant forms a bond between the two. In areas where replacement windows are set into original window frames, a multi-purpose sealant may be necessary.
Acrylic Sealant: Suitable for the connection and the sealing of cracks on brick, plaster, concrete, PVC, and wood, acrylic sealant is paintable and can be plastered to match an existing surface.
These are the common types of window sealants and their applications. They are typically available in local building materials and DIY stores. If you are unsure about which material to use for your project, seek the advice of a window installation professional.
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The home selling process should be quick, particularly for those who offer great houses at competitive prices. However, problems may arise that prevent an individual from enjoying a seamless home selling experience.
When it comes to selling a house as quickly as possible, it generally is a good idea to be proactive. That way, you can resolve any potential home problems before you add your house to the real estate market. A proactive approach to selling a house also may enable you to minimize the risk of encountering time-intensive problems throughout the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid delays as you sell your house.
1. Perform a House Inspection
A home inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after his or her offer is accepted on a house. Conversely, a home seller can perform an inspection prior to listing a residence to identify home issues and fix these problems right away.
During a house inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. He or she then will provide an inspection report that offers comprehensive insights into a residence's condition.
A home seller should assess the results of an inspection report closely. By doing so, a seller can prioritize myriad home repairs and alleviate these issues. And as a result, a seller can prevent such problems from potentially stopping a home sale at a later time.
2. Establish an Aggressive Initial Asking Price
The price that a seller sets for his or her house can have a major impact on how quickly the home selling journey progresses. If a seller establishes an aggressive initial asking price for his or her residence, this individual may boost the likelihood of a fast home selling journey.
Remember, homebuyers are searching for residences that deliver the ideal mix of quality and affordability. If you price your residence competitively based on the current housing market's conditions, homebuyers may choose to pursue your house over others that are available. Then, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers on your house that are at or above your residence's initial asking price.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you're worried about encountering time-intensive problems during the house selling journey, there is no need to stress. For those who hire a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to address any potential home selling problems.
A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you simplify the home selling journey. He or she is happy to provide expert recommendations as you proceed along this journey. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your house, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Want to accelerate the home selling journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit the risk of encountering potential hurdles that otherwise could slow you down as you sell your house.
All home sellers understand that there are some costs to selling a home, but not everyone realizes what they're expected to pay for (and how much the total will be). We'll look at the most common expenses and how they might affect your budget.
Real Estate Agent Fees
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind if you're selling a home. The standard rule is anywhere between 5 to 6% of the final sale price. Not all sellers will shoulder this cost, but the majority will. So if your home sells for $300,000, you should expect to hand over at least $15,000 to be split between the buyer and seller real estate agents. Please note that commissions can be negotiable, especially if you're selling in a popular neighborhood.
While none of these costs are strictly necessary, they can help you get your home ready:
- Repairs: If you're not planning to sell the house as-is, it's a good idea to spruce up the interior and exterior of the property. Even if you're only buying a few cans of paint and a roller, the costs can add up quickly.
- Home inspection: Buyers will typically do their own home inspection, but sellers who go above and beyond can give themselves an edge in a competitive market. If you're going out of your way to buy a home inspection, it can show you have nothing to hide. These inspections cost a few hundred dollars and may reveal structural problems that you were unaware of.
- Staging: Arranging your furniture to show off the best of the home can really inspire buyers to view its potential. Whether you dress up your home with cozy touches (e.g., cashmere throws, small bouquets, etc.) or more modern decorations, it can help attract the perfect buyer.
If you're moving out before you sell the house, you'll need to continue paying the utilities. You'll also need to check with your lender as to exactly how much you owe when you pay off the loan. Some lenders will charge prepayment fees upon early termination. You may also be asked to either pay or split the closing costs, especially if you're selling in a buyer's market. This can include anything from the title inspector fees to transfer costs. Finally, you may need to pay capital gains tax if your home skyrocketed in value or any lingering property taxes.
Some sellers end up paying closer to 10% of the total sale price of their home, a figure that can be difficult to swallow for many sellers. It's worth clarifying each cost so you always know what you're paying for.