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You May Need More Than You Think To Buy Your First Home

You May Need More Than You Think To Buy Your First HomeThose who are thinking about buying their first home soon are likely saving up for a down payment. This can be a challenging process because, for many people, this is the largest amount of money they have ever saved in their lives. Sadly, the amount that people might need to buy their first home is more than they think.

There are numerous other costs that go along with buying and maintaining a home. As a result, people need to save up more than they think. Even for starter homes that are usually less expensive than family homes, there are numerous costs that need to be included.

Think about a home that is $250,000. A 20 percent down payment is $50,000. That is already a lot of money. Even for those who might try to get away with a 10 percent down payment, that is still $25,000. That is enough money to buy a very nice car. Where do these other expenses come from?

Buying A Home Has Other Costs

There are other costs that go along with buying a home. For example, there are closing costs that accompany this process. This could be thousands of dollars. In addition, there might be points due at signing and origination fees that accompany the process of taking out a loan. Of course, people could avoid these costs by buying the house in cash; however, for most people, this is simply not realistic.

Furnishing A New Home

On top of this, there are costs that come with furnishing a new home. Think about how much money coffee tables, dressers, desks, beds, and wardrobes cost. This might also include new kitchen appliances, a washer, a dryer, and more. All of these need to be included when trying to figure out the cost of a new home.

Take Advantage Of Low Mortgage Rates

It is possible for people to save up enough money to buy their first home. They simply need to keep a few tips in mind. First, take advantage of low mortgage rates. Use this to avoid PMI, origination fees, and points. Then, find ways to reduce moving costs. Bring old furniture to the new home and try to make sure that all appliances are up to date to avoid repair bills. This will make a new home more affordable.

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

3 Handy Tips That Will Prevent Serious Stress when Buying and Selling a Home at the Same TimeIf you’re in the process of simultaneously buying and selling a home, you may be in for the most stressful experience of your life. One UK-based real estate survey of over two thousand people found that buying and selling a house is more stressful than divorce, bankruptcy, a death in the family, becoming a parent for the first time, and even planning a wedding!

It’s not easy, but staying calm will help you to plan for your upcoming home purchase and sale and make the process easier. So how can you avoid the stress? Here are three strategies that will keep you calm, no matter what may happen.

Have A Thorough Plan In Place…

Much of the stress that you’ll experience will probably be the result of poor planning. You may feel stressed if you don’t have enough time to move or if you have to pay mortgages on two homes because your old home isn’t selling fast enough.

Before you get too far into the buying and selling process, talk with a real estate agent and ensure you have a solid plan in place for how you’ll manage buying and selling at the same time. Leave a time and expense buffer for unexpected complications – even if nothing goes wrong, it’s still nice to know you have some room to work with.

…But Be Ready To Improvise If Things Go Sideways

There are a number of ways that buying and selling at the same time might result in complications. Poor timing might mean you need to move out before you have a home to move into, or it might mean you don’t have the money for your new home if your old home hasn’t sold. Be prepared to rent a hotel room, take out a short-term loan, or move your belongings into storage if the sale doesn’t go according to plan.

Talk Out Your Problems With Loved Ones

In times of stress, it’s helpful to turn to friends and family for a helping hand. Studies have shown that having a strong social support network can mitigate the effects of stress, and even the Mayo Clinic suggests reaching out to loved ones when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for emotional support, and whenever you have an opportunity to socialize, take it – you’ll find it easier to handle stress after a fun night out with friends.

Buying and selling a home at the same time is bound to be stressful, but an experienced real estate agent can minimize the agony. Call a real estate agent near you to learn how you can successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

Tips For Deciding The Value Of A Home

Tips For Deciding The Value Of A HomeHomes are more than just a building. They are filled with memories of children taking their first steps, holidays that were celebrated with family members and friends, and Super Bowl parties filled with smiles and cheers.

These memories are priceless; however, people cannot let emotions cloud their judgment when they are trying to sell a house. Instead, it is important to focus on the building. There are a few tips that everyone should follow as they try to figure out how much their home is worth.

Be Reasonable

The first tip is not to price a home too high out of the gate. While it is tempting to start high and reduce when necessary, the reality is that a price that is too high is going to scare off potential offers. It is better to start with a reasonable price that will get people interested. Then, if the offers start to pour in, there is a bidding war. The price will naturally take care of itself.

Upgrades Don’t Always Lead To A Higher Price

It is tempting to follow in the footsteps of TV shows and pour money into renovations that might lead to a large return on investment. The sad fact is that this is not always the case. Even though the homeowners might love the renovation, this doesn’t mean that a potential buyer will. Do not renovate purely to raise the value of a home. Upgrades can go out of style just as quickly as they came in.

Don’t Price Out Of Necessity

Never price a home based on a dollar amount that has to be reached. It is always better to price a home relative to what the market indicates. Nobody is going to make an offer on an overpriced home purely because that is how much money the seller needs to make.

Leave Emotions At The Door

Finally, do not price a home based on emotions. Yes, a home is a special place; however, remember that the home is on the market, not the memories. Instead, always price a home based on what the comparables are showing. This will lead to a smoother selling process, a higher price, and a bigger return on the initial investment.

Protect Your Home When You’re On Vacation With These Five Simple Tips

Protect Your Home When You’re on Vacation with These Five Simple TipsWhen making plans for a fun-filled vacation, you shouldn’t forget implementing certain home security measures to ward off thieves. Nobody wants to return home only to find that intruders had ransacked the residence from top to bottom.

If you’re going away on vacation, make sure you protect your home against break-and-enters with these five tips.

Alarm Intruders With Audible Deterrence Measures

Installing a professional home security alarm is one of the most cost-effective ways for people to protect their homes when they are away.

Buying and setting up the right system will ensure that the proper authorities will be notified if thieves break in or attempt to force their way in.

While determined crooks will be hard to discourage, most would-be intruders will look for easier targets if they inadvertently trigger a loud, piercing alarm that attracts too much attention from anyone who could call the police.

Make Forced Entry Difficult With Solid Doors

Some thieves will take a very direct approach to break-ins by simply trying to force their way through a locked door. If the exterior doors are hollow, thieves will have a pretty easy time getting through. This is why it is important to install solid doors rather than hollow ones; solid doors are much harder to break through. 

If you’re concerned about intruders forcing their way through your hollow doors, your best recourse is to upgrade to solid doors. Upgrading will cost a pretty penny, but the added protection they will provide will be well worth the investment.

While getting solid doors installed, you can go one step further by investing in good locks, deadbolts and reinforced strike plates.

Do Not Advertise Your Departures

A pile of newspapers at the front door or a mailbox full of mail and flyers will be proof positive to crooks that no one’s home. Homeowners who are going to be away on vacation should ask neighbors or other people they trust to collect their mail while they are away. 

If having a neighbor collect your mail isn’t an option, go to the post office and request that mail service to your home be suspended until you get back. It is also best to suspend newspaper deliveries for the vacation period as well.

Neighborhood Watch To The Rescue

One great home security solution that won’t cost a penny is having neighbors who look out for you. Homeowners would do well to ask trusted neighbors to keep an eye on their property while they are away on vacation. Tell those trusted neighbors to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and to call the authorities if necessary.

Protect Sliding Doors With This Simple Trick

Before heading off on vacation, you should safeguard the sliding glass doors in your home by putting something like a metal rod in the track. This way, thieves will not be able to force the door open.

Vacations are a time to unwind and to have some fun. However, responsible homeowners will do what it takes to make their residence less attractive to would-be thieves while they are away.

For more information on how to safeguard your home, or to get answers to your pressing real estate questions, contact your trusted real estate professional for prompt and practical advice.

What Is The Impact Of COVID-19 On Home Value?

What Is The Impact Of COVID-19 On Home Value?It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on everyone; however, there are a few impacts that are being overlooked. In addition to the public health crisis and the tanking of the stock market, there are also impacts of the virus on people’s home values.

Some of these impacts have been positive while others have been negative.

Regardless, it is important for everyone to understand how these impacts might impact someone’s home value, particularly for those who are looking to buy or sell a home in the future.

The Dropping Rates Of Mortgages

Because of the shelter in place laws surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, not many people are looking to move right now. As a result, banks have had a hard time getting people to come in and sign up for loans. 

This means that many people who are looking to buy a home might be able to sign up for a loan at a very low cost. This might open the door for someone to buy a bigger home than they might have been able to during less turbulent times.

The Impact On Sellers

As a result of the low-interest rates from the COVID-19 pandemic, this also means that sellers should anticipate getting a large number of offers for their homes. There are still many people who are hesitant to sell a home in this environment. This means that there might not be many options on the market. For those who decide to take the plunge, they might be rewarded with more offers than usual. This is going to drive up the value of their home, which is good for their next purchase.

The Future Of The Market During The Pandemic

These are just two of the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the value of homes. While it is unclear when this pandemic is going to be behind us, it is important for everyone to understand how the pandemic is going to impact them if they are looking to buy or sell a home. This will help everyone make the right decision during a turbulent time.

Get Your Finances In Order With A Few Simple Steps

Get Your Finances In Order With A Few Simple StepsIf you are looking to buy a home one day but don’t think you are ready just yet, you are not alone. One of the most important tasks that you have to complete involves getting your finances in order.

There are a few ways to get your finances in order before you buy, no matter how long you have been waiting to buy a home. Getting your finances in order with these simple steps can help you become a more competitive applicant both for a mortgage and a home that is on the market.

Focus On Your Credit Score

While it is true that your credit doesn’t have to be perfect in order to get a home, a strong credit score will increase your chances of getting approved. In addition, a great credit score can also help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

Some of the ways that you can improve your credit score include disputing errors that might be on your report, reducing your debt, producing a long track record of on-time payments, and avoiding late payments. All of this will help you get ready to apply for a mortgage.

Open A Bank Account For Homeownership

The cost of a home is far more than a down payment and mortgage bills. The reality is that owning a home comes with a variety of expenses for which you must be prepared. Therefore, it is a prudent idea to open a bank account that is solely for homeownership expenses. This account should contain a variety of funds including those for utilities, maintenance, landscaping costs, and even renovation expenses. This will help you visualize the amount of money that you have set aside.

Calculate The Budget

Finally, it is also smart to calculate a budget for the home. Some of the factors that are going to play a role in the sticker price of a home include the down payment, closing costs, and potential taxes. For help with this calculation, it is a smart idea to meet with a trained mortgage professional.

Prepare To Buy A Home

These are a few of the steps that you should follow to get your finances in order. These steps will make you a more competitive applicant for a mortgage.