Peter DiRusso's Blog
Establishing a homebuying budget can be tough. But for those who want to secure a terrific home at an affordable price, entering the housing market with a budget in hand can make it easy to accelerate the homebuying cycle.
Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider about a homebuying budget.
1. How much money have I saved for a home?
Examine your finances and see how much money is readily available for a home purchase.
Remember, the more money that is at your disposal, the more likely it becomes that you'll be able to secure your dream residence in no time at all.
Although savings are important, it is essential to note that those who have little to no money saved still have plenty of time to get ready for the homebuying journey. And if you start saving a little bit each day, you can move closer to accomplishing your homeownership dreams.
2. Do I need to get a home loan?
In most instances, a homebuyer will need to obtain a home loan so he or she can purchase a residence. Luckily, many lenders are available to help you discover a home loan that matches or surpasses your expectations.
Meet with a variety of lenders in your area – you'll be glad you did. Each lender can provide insights into assorted home loan options, explain how each home loan works and respond to your home loan concerns and questions.
Also, it often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you have a mortgage available when you enter the real estate market, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence, thereby reducing or eliminating the temptation to overspend on a house.
3. How will my monthly expenses change after I buy a house?
Owning a home is different from renting an apartment. As such, you'll want to account for all potential expenses as you create a homebuying budget.
For example, a homeowner will be responsible for any home cable, internet and phone bills. This property owner also will need to consider any home maintenance costs like those associated with mowing the lawn in summer or removing snow from the driveway in winter.
Crafting a homebuying budget that accounts for your personal finances can be tricky. If you need additional support along the way, lenders may be able to provide expert tips to ensure you can acquire a wonderful house without exceeding your financial limitations.
Lastly, don't forget to reach out to a real estate agent for help along the homebuying journey. A real estate agent is a housing market professional who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you in any way possible. From setting up home showings to negotiating with home sellers on your behalf, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to secure a superior home at a budget-friendly price.
Consider the aforementioned homebuying budget questions, and you can speed up the homebuying process.
House hunting can be time-consuming. With so many houses currently on the market and so little time to spend visiting homes, it’s important to narrow down your search as much as possible before attending a showing.
Fortunately, in today’s digital world, it’s possible to learn a great deal of important information right from your phone or computer.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you some advice on researching the homes you’re thinking about making an offer on. We’ll talk about researching the neighborhood, and--of course--the house itself.
Putting together all the stats on the home
Let’s start with, arguably, the most important thing to research: the house itself. When you want to learn about a home, the best place to look is usually the real estate listing. Since most of us discover homes through listings, odds are you’re already on this page. However, there’s a lot of information in a listing, so take the time to go through it and gleam whatever you can from the home’s description.
Next, Google the house address and click on listings from other real estate sites. Oftentimes, a house that has been sold before will have multiple listings across the internet with different data.
Once you’ve scoured the listings, head over to the county assessor’s website to look at records of the home’s ownership. This will tell you who bought and sold the home and when. There’s much you can learn from this data, especially if a home is being sold frequently. You can also use this information to contact previous owners to ask them questions about the home that the current owner might not know the answer to.
Snooping around the neighborhood
If the house is nearby, simply driving through the neighborhood can tell you a lot. You can visit the neighborhood during rush hour to see what the traffic is like, for example.
However, it isn’t always practical to take the time to visit a house that you aren’t sure you’re interested in. So, what’s the next best thing? Google Maps.
Visit the neighborhood on Google Maps to see what’s in the area. Are there a lot of closed businesses? That could be a sign of a neighborhood in decline. Check for nearby things like parks, grocery stores, and other amenities that could influence your buying decision.
Next, use Google’s “street view” feature and explore the neighborhood. You can see what kind of shape the other homes are in, and find out the condition of infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.
Note addresses of comparable homes in the neighborhood and look up their purchase prices. This will give you an idea of whether the home is being priced appropriately.
If you’re having trouble finding information on a home, such as sale records, try contacting the local assessor. They should be able to point you to a database that will help you in your search.
There are basically three types of clutter that tend to emerge in most homes, and it usually gets worse as time goes on.
Homeowners often get so used to their own clutter, that it becomes virtually invisible to them.
That's one of the reasons it can be extremely helpful to work with a real estate agent when preparing your home for sale. Not only can an experienced agent provide an objective point of view, but most agents have a trained eye that can spot unsightly clutter "a mile away"!
There are several reasons household clutter is an issue when trying to stage a home for sale. First of all, it's an eyesore. It makes your home look less inviting to prospect buyers, and, in many cases, in makes rooms look smaller. Clutter also makes it more difficult to keep surfaces and floors clean, which is one of the cardinal rules of effectively staging a home.
Three Types of Clutter to Target
There's a delicate balance between having just enough --or too many -- items on countertops and tables. In most cases, it's too much! You're usually better off "erring on the side of sparseness," rather than the other way around. Unless something serves either a decorative or functional purpose (preferably both), it probably should be stored away in a drawer or cabinet. If it weren't for the fact that buyers typically look in closets when touring a home, then that would be an obvious place to hide clutter. However, that's sure to make a bad impression.
When you think of the word "clutter," what's the first thing that comes to mind? A typical mental image is that of a room crowded with too much furniture. That's a common problem with improperly staged homes, and it's a surefire way to send prospective buyers scurrying -- ones who might have otherwise made an offer. Cluttered rooms look smaller, messy, disorganized, and -- in some cases -- chaotic. None of those characteristics are going to create a good feeling in people's minds, which is a primary objective when showing a home to potential buyers.
The third type of clutter, which is also pretty typical, is wall clutter -- specifically: too many paintings, photos, art prints, posters, wall clocks, and other miscellaneous objects which make the walls look "too busy"! For some home sellers, this can be the most difficult aspect of visual clutter to fix because there's an emotional connection to family photographs, children's drawings, and so on.
If you're torn between what to display and what to hide, your real estate agent can be the best source of objective, unbiased advice. In many cases, "less is more," but it pays to get a professional opinion!
A home appraisal enables a seller to learn about the value of his or her house relative to the current housing market. As such, an appraisal represents an important opportunity, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the profits from his or her home sale.
Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for a home appraisal. If you prepare for an appraisal, you can use the appraisal results to achieve your home selling goals in no time at all.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to perform a home appraisal.
1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match the current value of your residence. Fortunately, if you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize home improvements and complete these upgrades. As a result, you may be able to boost your chances of receiving a favorable property valuation during a home appraisal.
Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you schedule an appraisal. That way, you can use the inspection results to determine which areas of your house need to be upgraded.
2. Assess the Housing Market
The present real estate sector will impact the valuation of your house. To establish realistic expectations for a home appraisal, it often helps to analyze the current housing market.
If homes are selling quickly, this likely indicates that a seller's market is in place. This market favors sellers and may enable you to receive plenty of offers if you establish a competitive price for your home.
Comparatively, if homes linger on the real estate market for many days, weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In this market, you may need to set an aggressive price to help your residence stand out to potential buyers.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A home appraisal is an important part of the home selling journey. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a home selling expert who can help you maximize your property valuation during an appraisal.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your city or town. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you determine how to price your house to ensure you can stir up significant interest in your residence.
A real estate agent also is happy to help you review any offers on your home. If you're unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market.