American Eagle Realty's Blog
There are so many factors that go into finding and securing the financing to buy a home. While lenders require quite a bit of information for you to get a loan, you still need to be aware of your own financial picture. Even if you’re pre-approved for a certain amount of money to buy a home, you still need to dig into your finances a bit deeper than a lender would. The bottom line is that you can't rely solely on a lender to tell you how much you can afford for a monthly payment on a home. Even if you’re approved to borrow the maximum amount of money for your finances to buy a home, it doesn’t mean that you actually should use that amount. There are so many other real world things that you need to consider outside of the basic numbers that are plugged into a mortgage formula.
Run Your Own Numbers
It’s important to sit down and do your own budget when you’re getting ready to buy a home. You have plenty of monthly expenses including student loan debt, car payments, utility bills, and more. Don’t forget that you need to eat too! Think about what your lifestyle is like. How much do you spend on food? Do you go out to the movies often or spend a regular amount of cash on clothing? Even if you plan to make adjustments to these habits when buying a home, you’ll want to think honestly about all of your needs and spending habits before signing on to buy a home.
Now, you’ll know what your true monthly costs are. Be sure to include things like home insurance, property taxes, monthly utilities, and any other personal monthly expenses in this budget. If you plan to put down a lower amount on the home, you’ll also need to include additional insurance costs like private mortgage insurance (PMI).
The magic number that you should remember when it comes to housing costs is 30%. This is the percentage of your monthly income that you should plan to spend on housing. Realistically, this could make your budget tight so this is often thought of as a maximum percentage. By law, a lender can’t approve a mortgage that would take up more than 35% of your monthly income. Some lenders have even stricter requirements such as not allowing a borrower to have a mortgage that would be more than 28% of monthly income. This is where the debt-to-income ratio comes into play.
As you can see, it’s important to take an earnest look at your finances to avoid larger money issues when you buy a home.
Everyone wants to feel comfortable in their home. Take your home to the next level with a few simple steps to not only find comfort in your home but to set your home up to keep you motivated toward your lifestyle goals.
Natural light is hugely motivating. From helping you wake up on your own in the morning to keeping you energized throughout the day or when you get home from work, natural light plays an essential role in your ability to get things done. Whether you have many or just a few windows maximize the natural light let into your home by keeping curtains open. At night leave the curtain in your bedroom open at least a crack to help you wake up naturally in the morning.
Greenery & Clean Air
Keeping your house fresh and filled with clean air will help you breathe and feel better in your home and help you maintain your motivation. Try adding some houseplants known for cleaning indoor air. The Peace Lily is a wonderful plant for humidifying your air and cleaning out toxic VOCs from chemicals. A Spider Plant is another great plant to help reduce pollutants in your atmosphere and minimize your stress. If you don't want to add plants to your home, invest in an air purifier to reap many of the benefits of these houseplants and breathe deeper.
Further, freshen your home by introducing pleasant scents to your rooms. Add organic candles you can burn while at home. Place essential oil diffusers or wax warmers around the house to gently infuse your home with uplifting scents. Coming home to a fresh, comforting scent will help increase your motivation to live well and push yourself to exercise, cook beautiful meals and work on your side projects to achieve your goals.
Returning home to clutter and mess can stifle your motivation. Feeling overwhelmed with chores and a dirty home is difficult to overcome and will prevent you from feeling energized to continue working when you’re at home. Practice in the moment housekeeping by putting clothes away as soon as you take them off. Fold blankets and replace pillows on the couch when you’re done using them and practice washing dishes or putting them directly into the dishwasher while you’re cooking and as soon as a meal is over. Taking care of your home as you use it will keep you from spending hours a week cleaning or feeling overwhelmed by the mess.
Goals on Display
Finally, to keep yourself motivated, put your goals on display. Cover your fridge with notes and images to drive you. Place a bulletin board with reminders in your kitchen, home office or bedroom. Write motivational notes on your bathroom or vanity mirror. Reminders of what you want on a daily basis will help you maintain your desire and push you to reach your goals.
By creating and maintaining a home filled with positive energy and good vibes you will be well on your way to developing and maintaining the lifestyle you desire. You will find more strength and drive to reach your goals and will experience more contentment and happiness in your home and life. Do right by yourself and prepare your home to set you up for success.
There's no getting around it — and no getting around in it! A small bathroom is just, well, small! If you've got a tiny bath and no way to enlarge it, do the next best thing, give it some of the Alice in Wonderland magic with mirrors and glass.
A standard, builder’s grade bath typically has one large mirror above the vanity (or stand-alone sink if your bathroom is super small). Create some reflective light by attaching a glass shelf in front of the mirror and populating it with colored or clear glass bottles of varying heights. Light reflecting off the various surfaces bounces around the room and off the ceiling to give your space a sparkling, sunlight on water feeling.
Add more mirrors of various sizes, shapes, and frames to the room to allow the light to cast a glow into dark corners while dressing up plain walls. Mirrors of differing depths (think shadow box versus floating frames versus one matted light a picture) add dimension to your room.
Or choose a mirror-backed frame around a metallic sculpture to double down on reflection back into the room. Perhaps add reflective metallic frames in various metals around your mirrors to complete the look. Or, try a mirrored frame around a reflective object.
To increase how light moves in the room, instead of a patterned or colored shower curtain, choose a heavy clear hotel-weight curtain with decorative mirrored, metallic, or reflective rings. Seeing through the curtain into the bath area increases the room’s visual size by extending the view.
Change out your light fixture for a mirrored one that reflects both the light and the room and choose LED bulbs in warm white for the most natural light for makeup application and cooler bulbs over the shower and bath for a more relaxing experience.
Finally, if windows are high enough, leave them uncovered to allow as much light in as possible. If they are too low and risk exposure, consider covering them with a thin frosted film rather than a curtain or blind so that light still passes into the room while preserving your privacy. Mirror the back of the door as well, so that when it's closed, it casts backlight into the room. Give the space that much more reflection by choosing shiny chrome fixtures too.
And if you’re in the market for a larger bath, talk to your real estate professional about what’s available in your community.
If you plan to conduct a house search, there is no reason to settle for inferior results. Instead, you should dedicate the necessary time and resources to conduct a comprehensive search for your dream house.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why it pays to perform an in-depth home search. These include:
1. You can avoid the risk of buying a subpar house.
As a homebuyer, it is paramount to discover a residence that meets or exceeds your expectations. Because if you purchase a house that falls short of your expectations, you may suffer the consequences of your decision for years to come.
For example, if you want to acquire a home quickly, you may be tempted to submit an offer to purchase the first house you view in-person. You might even choose to ignore house problems that are discovered during an inspection.
In the aforementioned scenario, you may wind up purchasing a home that will require costly, time-intensive repairs in the foreseeable future. Perhaps worst of all, you may struggle to generate equal value for your residence if you decide to re-sell it at a later date.
2. You can boost the likelihood of finding a house that matches your budget.
If you have a limited homebuying budget at your disposal, there is no need to leave any stone unturned in your quest for your ideal residence.
By dedicating time and resources to conduct an extensive house search, you'll be better equipped than other buyers to find a first-rate residence at a budget-friendly price. Plus, you may be able to pounce at the opportunity to buy a home that matches your budget as soon as this residence becomes available.
3. You may be able to capitalize on a buyer's market.
A patient homebuyer may be able to wait out a seller's market, i.e. a real estate market that features an abundance of buyers and a shortage of sellers. And in this situation, a buyer could capitalize on a buyer's market, i.e. a real estate market that boasts an abundance of sellers and a shortage of buyers. As a result, this buyer could choose from a wide selection of top-notch residences in a buyer's market and select a residence that offers a great combination of affordability and quality.
If you plan to pursue a home soon, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive plenty of support throughout the property buying journey.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to conduct a thorough home search. He or she will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and offer expert homebuying recommendations. Also, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal.
Simplify the homebuying process – work with a real estate agent, and you can streamline your house search.
A successful homebuying experience is a pipe dream for many individuals. However, those who understand the key attributes of a successful homebuyer may be able to transform their homebuying dreams into realities.
Now, let's take a look at three key attributes of successful homebuyers.
A successful homebuyer won't take "No" for an answer; instead, this individual will go the extra mile to ensure he or she can acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Ultimately, a successful homebuyer is driven to accomplish his or her goals. This individual's persistence is distinct, and as such, may help him or her achieve the optimal results.
To be persistent throughout the homebuying journey, it generally is a good idea to monitor the housing market closely. Because if you keep track of new homes that become available in cities and towns where you want to live, you can pounce at the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.
A successful homebuyer likely realizes that he or she needs to learn about the real estate sector. Therefore, this individual will allocate the necessary time and resources to analyze housing market data.
With a data-driven approach to buying a house, a homebuyer can increase the likelihood of a seamless homebuying experience. In fact, myriad housing market data is available to help a buyer discover the perfect house in no time at all.
Homebuyers may want to assess the prices of recently sold houses in their preferred cities and towns. This information can help buyers differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and map out the homebuying journey accordingly.
Furthermore, examining a personal financial data may be helpful before kicking off a home search. And if a homebuyer collaborates with a bank or credit union, he or she can get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
A successful homebuyer understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house. As a result, this individual can take the right steps to avoid such challenges as he or she proceeds along the homebuying journey.
For example, a successful homebuyer won't feel stressed if he or she encounters problems during a home inspection. Conversely, the homebuyer will look at his or her options and determine the best course of action. And if this individual decides to walk away from a home sale, he or she will feel good about reentering the housing market and beginning a home search once again.
When it comes to enjoying a successful homebuying experience, it pays to hire an expert real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you evaluate a wide range of houses and find one that matches or exceeds your expectations. Then, a real estate agent will ensure you can put together a competitive homebuying proposal to secure your dream residence.
Consider the key traits of a successful homebuyer – you'll be glad you did. If you strive for success at each stage of the homebuying journey, you should have no trouble acquiring your dream residence.