Bianca Guevara's Blog
Finding out the quality of furniture at a furniture store can be difficult. Product descriptions are written with the goal of getting you to buy. What’s more, floor sales employees will boast about the quality of their “genuine bonded leather,” how easy it is to clean and how long it lasts.
What many people don’t know is that words like “genuine” don’t mean “real” leather, but rather a grade of leather. Genuine leather is, in fact, the second worst type of leather in terms of quality and durability.
To help you avoid this and other blunders at the furniture store, we’ve written a simple guide to furniture leather that aid you in making the most informed decision possible the next time you’re at the furniture store. After all, furniture is expensive, and you want to make sure you get the best option for you and your family.
Bonded. The most basic thing to understand about leather are the grades. At the bottom of the list, or the lowest grade leather, is bonded leather. The word “leather” is actually generous in this scenario because bonded leather is really made up of fragments of leftover leather that have been glued together (or “bonded”) with latex or poly.
Bonded leather is often used for furniture because large items like sofas require so much of it. Manufacturers won’t soon tell you just how much of the sofa is comprised of leather and how much of it is composed of latex, so be wary of spending a lot of money on bonded leather furniture.
Genuine. Genuine leather, also known as “corrected grain” leather has artificial grain applied to its surface. This top grain is designed to increase the visual appeal of the leather by changing the texture and pigmentation to create different colors.
While genuine leather is a step above bonded leather, it is also subject to wear as the surface isn’t true leather.
Suede. Suede is a type of “split grain” leather, meaning that the top of the piece of leather has been removed and sanded forming the soft, suede texture and color we are all familiar with.
Top and full grain. The highest quality leathers are top and full grain. Top grain has had the split removed which makes it both easier to work with as well as softer and more flexible. Full grain, on the other hand has not had the split removed and is often unbuffed and unsanded. It isn’t as common to see this type of leather used in furniture because the imperfections are often removed in favor of a more visually congruent leather. However, since full grain hasn’t had any layers removed, it is easily the most durable type of leather.
Now that you know more about the types of leather, here are some tips for when you hit the furniture store.
Each manufacturer may use their own numbering system for grading leather, so don’t count on them being accurate.
Treated leather, in spite of seeming lower quality, may be more resistant to stains and thus preferable for a family with kids and pets.
Leather furniture that has received minimum treatment and includes the top grain requires specific cleaning. Don’t attempt to condition the leather with oils like you might a leather shoe that has been subject to the elements. Rather, use warm, damp, soft cloth to wipe down the leather every month or so. Soaps and cleaning solutions can do more harm than good to quality leather.
Adding a condo to the housing market may seem difficult at first. Lucky for you, real estate agents can help you streamline the process of listing your condo, stirring up interest in your property and ensuring you can maximize its value.
What does it take to find the right real estate agent to sell your condo? Here are three questions that you should ask a real estate agent before you hire this professional to sell your condo:
1. Have you sold condos in the past?
When it comes to selling a condo, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a real estate agent with condo selling experience over a real estate professional who exclusively sells homes.
A real estate agent with condo selling experience may be able to offer insights that you won't receive elsewhere. For example, this real estate professional may be able to provide tips to help you enhance your condo without the risk of violating homeowners' association (HOA) rules.
Plus, a real estate agent with condo selling experience will understand how to manage home selling challenges that may arise. This housing market expert will be able to address such challenges quickly and limit their impact on the condo selling process.
2. What approach will you take to sell my condo?
As a condo seller, your goal is to sell your condo as quickly as possible and ensure you can get the best price for your property. Meanwhile, you should find a real estate agent who shares your goal and will do everything possible to promote your residence to the right groups of property buyers.
Initially, a real estate agent should learn about your condo selling needs. He or she will listen to your condo selling concerns and ensure you are fully supported throughout the condo selling cycle.
A real estate agent should be ready to promote your condo in a variety of ways too. From social media posts that highlight the size and beauty of your condo to open houses that enable property buyers to check out your residence, a real estate agent should go above and beyond the call of duty to showcase your condo.
3. Why should I hire you?
No two real estate agents are identical, and as such, you're sure to hear lots of different responses to this question. Consider a real estate agent's answer closely, and if you are satisfied with the response, you may want to move forward with this housing market professional.
For home sellers, it is essential to collaborate with a real estate agent who makes you feel comfortable. This real estate professional will communicate with you regularly and keep you informed at each stage of the home selling process. As a result, you'll never be left in the dark as you move closer to selling your condo.
Ready to sell your condo? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can hire a great real estate agent to help you simplify the condo selling process.
Generally, the length of the homebuying journey depends on the individual. In some instances, a buyer will purchase the first house that he or she views in-person. Or, in other cases, it may take a buyer several weeks or months to find a house that matches his or her expectations.
There is no need to rush the homebuying journey. But if you know what to expect when you pursue your dream house, you may be able to seamlessly navigate the property buying cycle.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the homebuying journey.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you know where you want to live and what you want to find in your ideal residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly. And as a result, you may be better equipped than other property buyers to discover a great house at an affordable price.
As you put together homebuying criteria, it is important to consider your long-term plans as well. For instance, if you enjoy city life and want to spend as much time as possible in the city, a house in the city may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want to raise your family in a small town, you may want to hone your search to houses in small towns.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A home purchase likely will require you to obtain a mortgage. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available nationwide, and these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Meet with several banks and credit unions so you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you're on the lookout for your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns – and much more.
Typically, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you find and buy your dream home. He or she initially will learn about your homebuying goals and develop a custom homebuying strategy for you. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. And if you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you craft an aggressive offer to purchase this house.
Let's not forget about a real estate agent's homebuying expertise, either. If you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed home purchase.
Simplify the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble finding and acquiring your dream house.