American Eagle Realty's Blog
If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you know it will be one of the most significant purchases of your entire life. However, are you fully prepared for all of the expenses that buying a home will bring? You don’t want to buy a house to find out that you can’t afford it after all.
Many expenses go into buying a home that you can plan for ahead of time. Other costs aren’t as exact that you will need to add in your budget. Read on to learn more about many of the expenses that throw first-time home buyers for a loop.
Closing costs encompass a whole bunch of expenses that you’ll incur buying a home. These include:
- Application fees
- Attorney fees
- Title insurance
- Recording fees
No matter what the closing costs include, you should plan for these expenses to be about 2-5 percent of the price of your home. Costs can vary widely, but it’s good to have a bit of extra cash on hand.
Maintaining Your Home
While most homebuyers are prepared for the initial costs of buying a home, they don't know how much it costs to maintain a home. Each year, things will come up on your property that needs to be addressed continually. These tasks include:
These routine tasks are independent of other costs like replacing a stove or fixing a furnace. Homeowners need to be prepared for these expenses as well.
Taxes can increase or decrease for any given year. You can lookup taxes in the area where you’re planning to buy a home in order to prepare yourself. You should make sure that your property taxes are comparable with that of other homes in your area.
Utilities are what your home runs on. Depending on the climate you live in the number of utilities you pay can vary. Take into account these things:
- Air conditioning
Most neighborhoods have one or two choices for services, so you can ask people in the neighborhood what providers they [refer and how much their bills are each month.
You’re required to have homeowner’s insurance when you get a mortgage. Even if you don’t take out a mortgage and pay cash for a home, it’s a wise decision to protect your investment. Estimate how much a yearly policy will cost you ahead of time.
This insurance will protect your property from things like theft and fire. You can shop around for the best rates based on policies that suit your needs. It’s easy to price out policies online. See where you can save including discounts for security systems or multiple policy discounts.
If you live in an area where floods or earthquakes are prevalent, you should be aware. You’ll find you need additional policies to cover damage in the event of these disasters. The most important thing about your homeowner’s insurance policy is that you check the details for all of the fine print.
Long work days, busy family life, activities, and even time with friends and family can place a cloud on your mood. However, a quick pick-me-up might be just outside your door. According to research recently published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, studies show evidence that interacting with nature improves mood and health. In two different studies, results showed that just five minutes out-of-doors could positively affect your emotions. If you find yourself needing something uplifting to get you out of a funk, try these suggestions.
- Take a five-minute walk around the building. Whether you work in an urban area or a strip mall, stepping outside might be all you need to change your outlook.
- Pet a puppy. Stop by a shelter on your way home from work and give some love to a kitten or puppy. Just interacting with an animal lifts your spirits.
- Take your lunch in a park. If an urban park is within walking distance of your work, pack a portable lunch and eat as you walk. Then, find a bench and meditate for a few minutes before returning to the office.
- Put some plants on your balcony. Having a fern or succulent to care for forces you outside once in a while.
- If you can’t get outside, stand in front of a window and gaze into the distance. Just focusing outside the building promotes relaxation.
- Spend the weekend hiking. Even a few hours spent in nature changes your perspective on life.
- Breathe deeply as you enter and exit your vehicle or public transportation to take a little of the outdoors with you as you travel.
- Find the opportunity to roll down the car windows. Better yet, slide open that sunroof or put the top down.
- Step outside when you’re on the phone. That way, you aren’t interrupting your house or office mates, and you're inhaling non-conditioned air.
- Walk to the coffee shop or convenience store. Instead of hopping in the car, stroll to your nearest brewery. You’ll get a dose of nature, and perhaps meet friends along the way.
- Dine al fresco. Ask for the outdoor seating, even if it’s a little cooler. That way your mealtime becomes extra relaxing.
If you don’t have time to slip outside for a break, add some nature to your indoor environment. Put a plant on your desk or bring in a bunch of flowers. Even setting a bowl of coffee beans near your workspace lifts your mood. Trimming a bonsai tree refreshes your brain. Or, try a sand and rock garden to occupy a minute or two.
If you want more nature in your life, talk to your real estate specialist about finding a home with a yard, small garden or relaxing patio.
If you’re moving into a new place and own little to no furniture, you may wonder what’s really essential to purchase as you furnish each room. Read on to discover what you really should be looking for when you head out furniture shopping.
These tables are incredibly useful in the home. Whether it’s in the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, or a family room, you’re going to need these tables. They come in different shapes and sizes and are used for placing beverages on, storing small items in, or showing off pictures and decorative pieces. The most important aspect of side tables is symmetry. Make sure that each table is slightly taller than the sofa arm and that they are the same height. It really helps to buy matching side tables and not purchase them as individual pieces.
A Love Seat
Loveseats are much more versatile than sofas because they can fit more places. Loveseats can exist on their own, or be a part of a bigger picture furniture set up. You can place a love seat just about anywhere in your home from the bedroom to the living room, to a dining room. It provides cozy, comfortable seating that’s out of the ordinary from the rest of the room’s features.
Flexible Seating Chairs
These chairs are also referred to as “occasional chairs.” They bring an unexpected piece into any room. Use them in your entryway, dining room, office, bedroom, or breakfast nook. The only requirement in these chairs‘ design that you should look for is that they are easy to move and lightweight.
These chairs also referred to as “slipper chairs,” are versatile and easy to sit in. They’re great for everyone from children right on through to the elderly. You can use one of these chairs in just about any room from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom. The smaller size you get one of these chairs in, the more versatile it will be in your home.
A dresser can be used in more than just your bedroom to store clothes in. These incredibly useful pieces have a place throughout your home in every room from the bedroom to the dining room, the living room, or the bathroom. The reason bureaus are so versatile is that they provide a type of “hidden” storage in style. Often, the dresser appears as if it were a part of the room, to begin with. You can use more than one bureau and use them for multiple purposes.
As a condo buyer, it is important to find a property that matches or surpasses your expectations. At the same time, you'll want to do everything possible to avoid paying too much for a condo.
What does it take to shop for a condo and avoid the risk of spending too much to acquire your dream residence? Here are three tips to ensure you can pay the right price for any condo, at any time.
1. Browse the Real Estate Market Closely
An informed condo buyer will be able to differentiate a mediocre property from a great one. Plus, this condo buyer will know what it takes to avoid paying too much for a property that is unlikely to deliver long-lasting value.
Take a close look at the current housing market to understand the prices of condos in various cities and towns. By doing so, you can determine the price range for condos that fit your needs.
Don't forget to check out the prices of recently sold condos in your area too. That way, you can understand how long condos typically are available before they sell and map out your condo buying journey accordingly.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval for a mortgage will allow you to define how much you can spend on a condo. It also will enable you to reduce the risk of stretching beyond your financial means to acquire your dream condo.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions before you kick off your condo search. This will allow you to learn about both fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.
Furthermore, don't be afraid to ask lenders how different types of mortgages work, as this will enable you to select a mortgage that corresponds with your budget both now and in the future.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Employ a real estate agent to assist you along the condo buying process – you'll be happy you did. This real estate professional will do what it takes to help you land an exceptional condo at a budget-friendly price.
A real estate agent understands the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. As such, he or she can offer tips at each stage of the condo buying process, ensuring you can buy a top-notch condo without spending too much.
In addition, a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of going from condo buyer to condo owner. This housing market professional will set up condo showings, negotiate with condo sellers on your behalf and much more. That way, you can accelerate the process of acquiring a great condo.
Buying a condo at an affordable price may seem impossible at times, but a real estate agent will make it simple for you to do just that. Consult with a real estate agent today, and you can improve your chances of securing a condo without the risk of overspending.
If you plan to sell your house, you likely will need to craft a home listing. As such, you may want to put together an outline of the information that you'd like to include in your home listing to optimize its effectiveness.
Now, let's take a look at three things that every seller should include in his or her home listing.
1. Home Price
The price of your home likely will play a major role in how quickly your residence stirs up interest from homebuyers, and for good reason.
If you offer a competitive price for your residence, you should have no trouble generating substantial interest in your house as soon as it becomes available. Comparatively, if your home is overpriced, your risk alienating potential buyers. Or, if your residence is underpriced, you may miss out on an opportunity to maximize the value of your house.
Performing a home appraisal often serves as a great way to get an accurate valuation of your house.
Also, look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. This will help you understand how your residence stacks up against the competition so that you can price your home accordingly.
2. A Detailed Home Description
What sets your house apart from other residences? Ultimately, if you create a detailed description of your home's features, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
When you put together a detailed description of your home, be honest. That way, you can empower homebuyers with the insights they need to determine whether your residence is right for them.
In addition, copy edit your home description before you publish your home listing. Because if your home description is littered with grammatical errors, these mistakes may drive potential buyers away from your residence.
3. Nearby Attractions and Landmarks
If your home is located near amusement parks, national monuments, schools or other popular attractions or landmarks, you should incorporate this information into your home listing. By doing so, you can further differentiate your residence from the competition.
Don't forget to provide details about how far away your home is located from nearby attractions and landmarks too. For instance, if your house is only a 5-minute drive from a top local park, you should include this information in your home listing.
If you want to get the most out of your home listing, it pays to hire a real estate agent as well. With a real estate agent at your side, you can create an in-depth home listing that will hit the mark with prospective buyers.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to create an effective home listing. He or she will learn about your residence and your home selling goals and ensure that your home listing stands out from others.
Ready to craft an engaging home listing? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of creating a terrific home listing in no time at all.