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Posted by Ada Cimpeanu on 9/15/2019

There’s a lot of things to think about before buying a home--some financial, others personal. Most people tend to focus on one or the other. However, both are instrumental in choosing the right house and buying at the right time.

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can determine if you’re ready for homeownership. We’ll discuss things like credit scores and down payments, but also important life factors like your career and future plans.

Getting your finances in order

There are a few simple things you can do right now that will help you understand if you’re financially secure enough to start looking at houses. First, you’ll want to look up your credit score.

Lenders strongly consider your credit when determining how much risk is involved in lending to you. A higher credit score can not only get you approved for a mortgage, it can lower your interest rate and make you eligible to borrow without having to pay private mortgage insurance.

The amount of money this saves seems trivial in the short term, but over the lifespan of your loan it can save you tens of thousands of dollars. So, read a free credit report and if your credit is lower than 700 start finding ways to improve your credit.

In the meantime, you’ll want to save for a down payment. While it’s possible to buy a home with a small or no down payment, it can come back to haunt you in the form of interest as you pay off your loan. Furthermore, many lenders won’t pre-approve you unless you make a down payment of a minimum amount (often 20% of the loan).

If you have a high credit score and you’ve saved for a down payment, another thing to check off your list would be proving your stable income. This can be difficult for the self-employed, contract workers, or people who have recently changed jobs.

Lenders want to see that you have a stable income history to ensure that you’ll be able to pay your mortgage each month. If you recently changed jobs or are in between jobs, it could be to your benefit to wait 3-6 months before getting pre-approved. In that time, you can continue to raise your credit and save for a down payment, further increasing your chances of getting a low-interest loan.

Preparing for homeownership

While the financial aspects of homeownership are important, so are the personal aspects. You’ll want to consider several life factors before buying a home.

First, think about your longterm goals. Do you want to live in the same area for the next 10 to 30 years? Will your career bring you to different regions or will you attend school somewhere else? These questions will help you decide if it’s a good time to buy or a better investment to save money while renting.

If you have a family (or plan on having one soon), you’ll also have to find a way to balance all of your living needs.

Finally, ask yourself if you have time for homeownership. Many people who are used to renting aren’t aware of the amount of time and money it takes to maintain a home. You’ll have more bills, you’ll have to mow your own lawn, and you’ll be responsible for maintenance of your home.





Posted by Ada Cimpeanu on 8/18/2019

After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?

Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:

1. What was discovered during the property inspection?

Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.

A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.

Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.

On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.

2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?

The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.

For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.

Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.

3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?

It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.

A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.

Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.




Tags: Condo   Buying a home   buyer tips  
Categories: Buying a Home   condo   buying tips  


Posted by Ada Cimpeanu on 8/4/2019

Requesting a home showing usually is a great idea if you find a residence you may want to buy. In addition, there are many things you can do to get the most out of any house showing, at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you attend a home showing and determine if a particular residence is right for you.

1. Analyze All Areas of a Home

A home showing enables you to get an up-close look at all areas of a residence. Thus, you should examine each room in a house during a showing so you can envision what life may be like if you acquire this residence.

Don't forget to walk around outside a house, too. By doing so, you can evaluate a home's yard and other outdoor amenities, as well as the condition of a house's roof and siding.

2. Don't Hurry

There is no need to feel rushed during a house showing. Instead, take as much time as you need to walk around a house and perform a full property evaluation.

If you find you still want to know more about a home after a showing, don't stress, either. You can always request a second home showing to further evaluate a residence at your convenience.

3. Ask Questions

A home showing provides an unprecedented learning opportunity. As such, you may want to ask questions as you walk around a house so you can receive instant home insights from a seller's agent.

Furthermore, it is crucial to remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" question. If you are unsure about whether a house suits you perfectly, ask questions about the residence. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home or continue your house search.

As you get set to embark on the homebuying journey, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you prepare for a house showing, along with provide insights into the homebuying journey that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

If you view a house with a real estate agent, for example, you can follow up with this housing market professional after the showing. Next, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of a residence. And if you decide you have found your dream home, a real estate agent can help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

For homebuyers who are on the fence about whether to request a house showing, you may want to consult with a real estate agent right away. With a real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to streamline the homebuying journey. As a result, you can work with a real estate agent to find and acquire your dream residence without delay.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips   showing  


Posted by Ada Cimpeanu on 6/30/2019

If you’re buying a fixer upper, whether you plan to live on the property or flip it, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to consider. So you can budget appropriately, below, many of the costs and fees are laid to so that you can see what you’ll need to budget for when rehabilitating a home.



The Overall Costs


The costs that you’ll incur in buying and finishing a home that needs to be rehabilitated are as follows:


  • The team needed for rehabilitation
  • The purchase price of the property
  • The cost of owning the property
  • The cost of selling the property (if you plan on flipping the home)


The Team


The people that you put together to rehab your home will be very important to the entire rehabilitation process. You should take the time to research each person that you’re hiring to be sure that they are a good fit for the job.


Professionals who will be involved in the process include:


  • Lender
  • Attorney
  • Realtor
  • Contractor 
  • Insurance agent
  • Home inspector


You can ask your realtor or other trusted contacts for recommendations. Putting a team in place helps to make the entire, sometimes cumbersome process of house rehabilitation a bit smoother. 


Buying The Property


These costs are pretty standard as if you were buying any other home. You’ll need to pay closing costs, attorneys fees, realtor fees, and more. Costs typically included in a home purchase are:


  • Inspection
  • Purchase price
  • Closing costs
  • Appraisal


You should budget for all of these typical home buying costs when buying a rehab home. 


The Costs Of Home Rehabilitation


This is where things get expensive. You’ll need to first pay a contractor just to consult with them to see how they will create your vision for the property. You could also take another route an consult with a home inspector who has experience in construction. They can give you an idea of what the construction expense will be and what needs to be addressed. 


When you do get to meet with contractors, you’ll want to understand their construction experience and feel comfortable that they can produce the work that you need at a high level of quality.  


Owning A Home


Once you have the home in need of rehabilitation in your possession, you’ll need to pay the typical costs of any homeowner. These include:


  • Mortgage payments
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance


Even if you’re not currently occupying the home, once the property is purchased, all of these costs will need to be covered and considered. 


If you decide to flip the property and sell it, you’ll need to consider additional costs including realtor’s fees and other closing costs.  





Posted by Ada Cimpeanu on 6/9/2019

When you plan to stay in your new home for years to come, you can buy just for yourself and ignore things that would otherwise make reselling the property difficult. However, if you know this home will be back on the market in a few years, you need to check different boxes on that list. Do you know you'll have to move on a tight schedule for work? That makes minding the view even more important.

A Room with a View (that you hate)

Not all homesites have the future view in mind and even those that do risk ruin by city planners adding new infrastructure to your area or new businesses opening. Here's what to avoid:

  • Railroad Tracks: Number one on many buyers "do not want" list, railroad tracks can be a huge barrier to a quick sale. Any train tracks with noisy, consistent business can be irritating to home buyers and reduce the draw for your home. If the property is walking distance from a local station with city access, however, use the local public transportation as a selling point to bring in new potential buyers. 
  • Water Towers and Wind Turbines: Unavoidable in most areas, especially those headed for greener energy or where water is scarce, the goal here is merely to avoid direct window views. If you notice one of these tall local structures blocking the homes' views, finding the house with a different perspective could be the key to your super-fast sale.
  • Power Lines: Electrical lines distract from the view similarly to wind turbines. However, there's a more sinister problem here. Many people believe that power lines emit a kind of radiation that causes health problems. Even though the American Cancer Society says that power lines emit only ELF (extremely low frequency) radiation which shouldn't cause health problems, just the belief in society can drag out your sale timeline or lower the price. 
  • Shops and Restaurants: The goal here is to be careful what businesses are nearby. Visit the property at different times of day to determine how much noise is generated by the nearby restaurants and what kinds of lights or signs might impact your view and living situation. Imposing privacy walls between your home and local businesses don't necessarily help since that can ruin the entire view without actually blocking the noise.

When you're looking at homes to purchase, make sure you check them out at a variety of times of the day. When possible, check the view from every window, both in the dark and during the day. Also, make sure you review the location on weekdays and weekends alike since the activity level of neighborhoods and businesses can change drastically.

I already bought it, what now?

Just because you didn’t consider the view when you purchased the property—or if the view has changed over the years—doesn't mean you're out of luck. You can adjust the landscape to your advantage, planting trees to add greenery while blocking a regrettable view. Be careful with power lines and trees though, planting trees that will cross over powerlines can increase maintenance costs on the property and could get you into trouble with the city or utility provider. You can even offset the sounds railroad tracks and local businesses by swapping out your windows with ones that are more sound-insulating. Or try investing in sound-proofing paints which have the added benefit of being more temperature insulating as well.

Let your real estate professional know if you plan to resell the home on a tight schedule so they can help you find the best resale property in your market.