Posted by Pamela Crawford on 7/23/2017

Purchasing a home is a large investment and not one that anyone should make on a whim. Itís important to understand your maximum budget but also what you are comfortable spending, which may not be the same number as your maximum budget. But itís also important to fully understand the hidden costs that come with owning a home. Your mortgage payment is not the only payment you will be making each month and itís certainly not the only cost associated with owning a home. Letís take a look at some hidden costs listed below: Home Insurance: Insurance is something that you may know you need, but not a cost you are thinking about when house hunting. Therefore, the cost can sneak up on you. Be sure to factor in this cost, as it will be associated with your homeís location, age and value. For example, you are going to pay more if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes. Home furnishings: Is this your first home or, at least, your first home that you would like to furnish with new furniture not hand-me-downs or a couch from craigslist? There also may be items that you need for this home that you did not need in your apartment such as a dining room table or spare bedroom bed frame and mattress. Furnishing your home can be a large expense and one that you should be saving up for. You donít need to go out and spend thousands on each item and you may want to spread out your purchases, but this is a very important cost to consider when purchasing a home. Appearance: When you purchase a home there may be things about the house that you want to change or update. This is something that not many factor in when buying the home as they are so wrapped up in the process of purchasing. However, even small updates cost money and if you spend all of your money on the down payment, you will not have any leftover to make those updates to make the home truly yours. Maintenance: If you previously rented, then maintenance is not something that you had to handle, as that is what your landlord was for. However, when you buy a home all maintenance and repairs fall on you. If you are purchasing an older home itís extremely important to understand what needs to be updated or replaced now or in the near future, such as the water heater, furnace or roof. Itís possible that you may get the previous homeowner to take care of this if itís in need at the time of selling, but if these updates/replacements take place a couple years down the road then itís up to you to take care of it. There is also the general maintenance of your home such as landscaping and snow removal. Will you purchase your own equipment or hire a service? Either way, this is an additional expense. Utilities: Often times many utilities are included in your rent. Well, this is not the case when owning a home. If the home does not have a septic system then you will need to pay for water and sewerage. You will have to pay for your own cable, Internet, and phone, and letís not forget about electricity. Itís important to understand all of the utilities that you will have to pay when you purchase a home. Property Taxes: Property taxes vary by town, but will always be an additional cost when owning a home. And, this cost will increase if you make additions or significant updates to your home. More desirable/expensive locations will have higher property taxes. This is often a cost that catches many off guard so be sure to research the locations where you are house hunting to see if you can afford the property taxes on top of all of the other associated costs. This is not meant to discourage anyone but shed light on the costs that many do not consider when they are house hunting. Make sure your budget allows for your mortgage payment and the expenses listed above that are tailored to your situation and you will have no problem becoming and staying a homeowner.





Posted by Pamela Crawford on 6/18/2017

After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?

Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:

1. What was discovered during the property inspection?

Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.

A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.

Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.

On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.

2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?

The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.

For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.

Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.

3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?

It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.

A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.

Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.




Tags: Buying a home   buyer tips   Condo  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Pamela Crawford on 4/16/2017

A real estate agent is a must-have for homebuyers, particularly in a highly competitive housing market. However, it is important to understand what it takes to work with a real estate professional to ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

What does it take to get the best results from the homebuying journey? Here are three rules to follow so that you and your real estate agent can work together to find your dream house.

1. Establish Realistic Homebuying Expectations Before You Begin Your Home Search

Buying a home can be a long, costly process if you're not careful. But with the right real estate agent at your side, you can simplify your house search.

Ultimately, you should work with a real estate agent to establish clear-cut homebuying expectations before you embark on your search for the perfect residence. This will enable you and your real estate agent to work together to achieve a common goal.

With realistic homebuying expectations, you'll be able to help your real estate agent understand what you'd like to find in your dream residence. Meanwhile, your real estate agent can get to work and keep you up to date about available homes that will meet or exceed your expectations.

2. Understand Your Real Estate Agent's Role in the Homebuying Process

A real estate agent should define his or her role in the homebuying process. That way, you'll know exactly what to expect as you go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she also should be available to respond to your questions throughout the homebuying journey.

Your real estate agent will be happy to assist you in any way possible. By doing so, he or she will make it simple for you acquire to acquire your ideal residence at a price that matches your budget.

3. Ensure That Both You and Your Real Estate Agent Are Comfortable Working with One Another

Communication plays a key role in the success of a homebuyer and his or her real estate agent. If you keep the lines of communication open with your real estate agent, you should have no trouble staying on top of the housing market.

In most instances, a real estate agent will be able to keep in touch with a homebuyer via phone, email and text. At the same time, you should try to remain available to your real estate agent as much as possible.

With ongoing communication with your real estate agent, you'll be able to stay informed as new properties become available that fit your homebuying criteria. Furthermore, your real estate agent can help you alleviate stress by listening to your homebuying concerns at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Many real estate professionals are available in cities and towns nationwide. Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to discovering your dream home.




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Posted by Pamela Crawford on 12/25/2016

Condos are a popular style of home for first-time homebuyers and anyone who is interested in less work to do around the home. Condos are typically multi-unit complexes that share one or more walls with the other units. Letís take a look at the pros of owning a condo. Affordable: Condos are an affordable alternative to a single-family home in a desirable location that is known for itís high priced homes. This may be because you are looking in a city or within close proximity to a large city or even by the water. You are likely able to find a condo with decent square footage at a price point that you can afford whereas a single-family home with that same square footage would be much more expensive. Easy to Maintain: Condos come with homeowner association fees or HOA fees. These fees are monthly and cover things like utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. This is often why young homeowners find condos so appealing, as they do not need to worry about landscaping, snow removal and exterior upkeep. There is also no need to worry about purchasing those items with large price tags such as lawnmowers and snow blowers as that is taken care of for you. Location: Another reason why condos are so popular amongst young homebuyers is because they are able to purchase their own home that is in a city or very close to it. Young homebuyers are typically working in a city and therefore would like to be close to work, nightlife, and shopping. Condos give these young people the ability to purchase a home in a city rather than having to rent. There are many pros to purchasing and owning a condo, but itís important to also weigh the cons. There are certain limitations that come with owning a condo that do not exist when purchasing a single-family home. Purchasing a home, regardless of its type, is a large investment and commitment. Itís important that you fully research the market and find exactly what youíre looking for in your price range and then begin your house hunt.





Posted by Pamela Crawford on 10/30/2016

Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself. Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you. Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home. Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, itís important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider. Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks. Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeownerís part. Itís important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.