American Eagle Realty's Blog
Nothing can quite compare to the emotional cocktail of excitement, fear, and anxiety of being a first-time home buyer. Being a homeowner is made out to be a huge milestone in life, and rightly so. Have you ever signed your name 37 times in a row? It's enough to intimidate anyone. By the end of the entire homebuying ordeal, you will have signed your name so many times that you'll feel like you should have just made yourself a signature stamp. You're in for quite the bumpy road being a first-time home buyer, some highs, some lows and everything in between.
Oh boy, where to start? Did you know your credit score before you started looking for a home? Sure, maybe you have a credit card you keep some line of credit in your name. However, a house? It’s a whole different ball game! What is a good credit score? They did not teach us this in high school, but thank goodness we all know the order of math operations as P.E.M.D.A.S. (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) right? What’s an escrow? What if the inspector missed something? When is my first mortgage payment due? You’ll have so many questions about being a first-time homebuyer, so do yourself a favor and get a realtor who can adequately answer all those questions! A great realtor can make the entire process feel like a cool Island breeze.
House shopping honestly is so much fun! Getting to figure out your unique taste in the architecture of your home is a fantastic experience. Sure, there are things that you must specifically look for to fit your needs, after all, you'll be spending the next 20-30 years of your life in this house if you do it right. The day you close on your home is exciting as well, disregarding the whole signing your name a thousand times. The moment comes with a sense of pride and accomplishment that you'll feel on closing day. Looking for your first home can be a long process, and sometimes can take months to years depending on the market. So, when it finally happens, and all the stars line up you can't help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. High five yourself on that day, cause all the stress and worries that you had in buying your first home are finally coming to a close. Now you can focus attention on the fun part: home improvement!
Being a homeowner can be such a fun-filled adventure, but hold on, because it will be a bumpy ride. Let your professional realtor navigate those bumps for you.
The cost to attend university continues to rise, putting pressure on students to afford an education. While some universities assist their students, many raise their prices to contend with operating costs. As a result, students leave school with mounds of debt that impede their quality of life. Paying off student loans starts by laying the appropriate groundwork, which gives you the best chance at success.
Where to Start
Begin by identifying the type of student loans you have. Most often, you have either private or government student loans. The difference between them dictates the various options available to eliminate your debt. Now that you've identified your student loan type start with the government student loan.
Government loans offer a variety of payment options based on factors such as your income and ability to pay. To more effectively make your student loan payments, request the payment plan that fits your financial situation. When you do receive extra money—like that birthday gift from Great-Aunt Daisy—apply it to your principal balance. You'll speed up the loan elimination process. By using the right payment plan, you balance your debt elimination with financial well being.
The payment plans for private student loans are difficult to adjust. One method to consider is refinancing to a lower interest rate. By refinancing your loan, you may lower your monthly payments. If you continue making more substantial payments on your refinanced note, you'll eliminate the principal balance at a faster rate.
If you find yourself looking to refinance, shop around. Several companies specialize in student loan refinancing. By lowering your interest rate, you save money and can use that extra money toward principal payments, ultimately eliminating your student loans faster.
Finally, once you set a repayment plan, increase your principal payments through a second job or side-gig. Lyft, eBay, Instacart, and other flexible part-time options make increasing your outside income possible. Eliminating student loan debt is difficult, but certainly possible. With minor tweaks and adjustments, you will find the right path for you.
Once you clear your student debt, you will have extra income for items such as saving for a down payment on a home. Purchasing a home is arguably the most significant asset for most people. By eliminating student debt, you can focus on home buying. To see if you qualify for a mortgage despite your school debt, reach out to a mortgage broker or loan officer.
The home selling journey sometimes is filled with hurdles that make it tough for an individual to optimize his or her property sale earnings. Fortunately, there are several shortcuts that a home seller can take to boost the likelihood of enjoying a profitable property selling experience. These shortcuts include:
1. Hire a Home Cleaning Company
A home cleaning company can help you transform your house's interior from drab to fab. That way, this company can help you clean your home from top to bottom and ensure buyers can fall in love with your residence as soon as they walk through the front door.
Of course, not all home cleaning companies are created equal, so you'll want to research local options. If you allocate time and resources to assess the home cleaning companies in your area, you can find a business that provides quality services at a budget-friendly price.
2. Employ a Professional Landscaper
If your lawn is filled with high grass and weeds, it may be tough to alleviate these issues on your own. Thankfully, professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. With a professional landscaper at your side, you can get the help you need to bolster your house's curb appeal.
Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. If you hire a professional landscaper to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you can quickly and effortlessly improve your residence's curb appeal. And as a result, your home will make a distinct impression on prospective buyers, which may lead to a fast, profitable home sale down the line.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home and is happy to share his or her housing market expertise with you. By doing so, a real estate agent will help you enjoy a seamless property selling experience.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals and craft a personalized property selling strategy for you. A real estate agent next will promote your residence to buyers, along with host home showings and open house events. Then, if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine how to proceed.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent provides throughout the home selling journey, either. If you ever have concerns at any point during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is available to respond to them. He or she will help you make informed home selling decisions, and ultimately, achieve your desired results.
For home sellers who want to remove the guesswork commonly associated with the property selling journey, there is no need to worry. By using the aforementioned shortcuts, a home seller can streamline the process of selling his or her house.
Home values continue to rise. Many people use their home equity in order to get a bit more financial security. The home equity line of credit can have many different benefits for you. From home improvement projects to a much-needed vacation, you can get the funds that you need for whatever you wish. Turn to your home equity with some careful thought, however. You could end up owing more than your home is worth, which defeats the purpose of tapping into your home equity to begin with.
Make Your Decision Smart
Your home equity can be a good thing to tap in to if you’re not planning on spending like crazy. Maybe you just want a little extra cash on hand for emergencies. You’ll be prepared for anything unexpected. This could be a smarter decision than just blowing a bunch of money on a vacation, for example.
Some smart things that you can use your home equity for include:
- Home renovations
- Emergency funds
- College education funds
- Cash advance
These ideas are investments that can help you to achieve other goals. You should be sure that you’re able to pay the money back. These projects or financial endeavors are much more suited to smart spending than just randomly spending money, buying a car, or other things that will put you in serious debt.
Home Equity Fluctuates
As the market changes, the amount of home equity that you’ll have to tap into does as well. The state of the housing market can actually dictate to you how much money you’ll be able to get. If the market isn’t good, you could end up in the negative financially, so do your research.
How To Get Your Home Equity
There are a few ways that you can draw from your home’s equity. The first rule that you should understand is that you cannot borrow more than 80% of what your home is worth. Take a full remortgage your home, giving you the full 80% amount that your home is worth in order to take a lump sum. Alternatively, you can take a cash-out refinance where you set the amount of money you’d like to take out of your home’s equity as you refinance the home. You can also take out what’s called a “home equity line of credit,” which allows you to use the amount of your home’s worth as a credit card of sorts. You borrow money as you need it.
The biggest issue with refinancing is that of planning. It’s important to know why you’re refinancing and what you’re planning on doing with the money. Used wisely, home equity can really be a great financial tool.
When trying to sell any property, getting the best deal is what you should try to achieve. However, this is not usually the case every time. There are factors, some within and others outside your control that could reduce the overall face value of your house.It helps to know some of the essential things that might prevent you from getting a good deal on your property.
1. Noisy Neighbors
Noisy neighbors are downright annoying and a turnoff. It is one of the external factors that reduce the value of a property. While there is nothing much you can do about this, it can reduce the overall value of a house by 5 to 10%.
2. Registered Sex Offenders
The presence of sex offenders generally limits the value of a home. That is not surprising as no one wants to stay in areas that have a terrible reputation due to that kind of crimes. Records have it that the presence of a sex offender can limit the overall value of a house by as much as 12%.
3. Horrible Schools
Many home buyers give massive preference to top quality schools before choosing a house. Records have it that home closer to high-quality school do benefit from the proximity. An area with good schools increases the overall face value of the property because it becomes attractive to families with children. The reverse is the case as well. Houses in the same neighborhood as low ranking or bad quality school are not usually valued high.
4. Some Renovations
Although renovations add to the overall value of a house, some upgrades can repel prospective home buyers. An example is a swimming pool in environments with cooler climates is a turn-off. This most times is due to the expensive upkeep. Besides, if you have gone overboard to maintain your lawn or garden, it could repel prospective homeowners. The maintenance obligation that comes with owning a carefully tended lawn can be discouraging to some potential buyers.
5. Unusual Colors
Bear in mind that the first things a buyer notice about your home is the color. If your house color stands out excessively among the house or properties in the neighborhood, it could affect the price negatively. Unpopular colors also apply to the interior. With odd colors inside, many potential buyers would dread living in it. Poor color choices might reduce the overall value of your property as the buyer will need to consider the cost of repainting.
Some of the things that affect the overall value of a home are out of your control. However, you can do all in your capacity to make the ones in your control work in your favor. Speak with a local real estate agent to help you assess your property's value before listing on the market.