Achieving your big goals in life like buying your first house will definitely make you feel happy, fulfilled and proud. However, you should make sure that you are 100 percent prepared before making any decision especially as big as buying a house. You do not want your dream to become a nightmare because of your rash and thoughtless decision.
There are numerous steps that you should accomplish before you can say that you are ready to turn one of your dreams into reality.
- Strengthen your credit score – improve your chances of getting a better deal in terms of down payment or interest fees when you have higher credit score. Thus, it is recommendable to know your credit score to ensure that you’re not unfairly penalized for old debts. Also, be sure that you pay up your debts including other loans and credit card debts. It is also recommendable to stop applying for new credit a year before you apply for loan.
- Know your needs – how big of a house do you need? Of course, it is practical to think of long term so even though it is only you and your partner now, you should buy a house for your family like with two or three kids. Do not go overboard too by going too big. Choose a house that fits your family comfortably.
- Research the market – it would be beneficial for you to study the market too. Choose a good location that has potential to increase its value in the coming years. It would be helpful to consult real estate agent for professional advice and consultation.
- Save for down payment – you should have money for the down payment so make sure that you save for this. Once you have money for the down payment then you can start considering buying a house.
- Build up your savings – besides your money for down payment, it is also best that you have life savings. You will feel more confident knowing that you have money that you can use in case of emergency like if you lose your job in the middle of paying your mortgage.
- Get a pre-approved mortgage – choose the best home loan type for you. For beginners, it is easier to get approved for variable home loan type. However, most people prefer the fixed rate home loan since they are able to budget their money monthly knowing the exact amount that they need to pay. It is best to check out home loan home page to know more details about different home loan types including the most ideal for your situation.
- Buy the house that you like – once you secured all those items above, then you can say that you are ready to buy the house that you like. Congratulations!
One of these days, you will be able to buy your own house. For now, make sure to check the lists we discussed here to prepare you well.
7 Things to Remember When Choosing a Home For Your Family
Finding a good home is not as easy as some make it out to be. There are so many factors that you have to take into consideration and so many things that can go wrong. That is why it is so important to take the time to consider everything and not make any rash decisions.
Here are 7 things to remember when choosing a home for your family:
1. Your budget
Purchasing a family home is one of the most important investments you will ever make. That is why it is so important that you carefully consider whether it fits into your budget. Once you identify a house, know how much you need to pay upfront and how much the monthly mortgage payments will be.
Once you choose a house, you cannot change its location. That is why you need to ensure that the location you choose has all the amenities your family requires. If you are searching in the Georgia area, you might want to check and see which Savannah neighborhood is right for you. Check out all the local schools, health centers, play areas and parks. Also, make sure that the area is safe enough to raise a family in.
3. Choose the right mortgage lender
Many people are not aware that they can save a lot of money in mortgage rates just by choosing the right lender. Visit several lenders and see who has the best offer. If you don’t understand the costs and fees involved in calculating your mortgage, find someone to guide you through the process.
4. Inspect the home before making a decision
One thing about inspecting a home is that you are highly likely to find one or two issues that need fixing. While some may not ultimately influence your decision to buy or not, some may just be too major to ignore. The last thing you want is to purchase a home only to find problems that prove impossible to fix.
5. Ask many questions
Your realtor is there to answer all your questions. Asking questions and getting answers equips you to make the right decision. If you have the right real estate agent, there are so many important things you can learn about what to look for when acquiring a home.
6. Availability of maintenance services
You need to know who to call when your toilet gets backed up or the roof starts to leak. Having a few maintenance companies that can come in on short notice will make life very easy for you and your family. You may also want to know what the maintenance charges are.
7. Get organized
Having all your affairs in order ahead of time makes it very easy to make your move once you identify a home you like. If you are not sure what you need, ask your real estate agent, mortgage provider and solicitor to provide you with a list of what they need.
While all these factors are important, your instinct also plays a big part when buying a home. Since there are so many people out there trying to make money off you, it is important that you carefully consider everything you are told and if possible, seek a second opinion.
Didn’t Think of That: 5 Important First Time Home Buyer Questions You Can’t Forget to Ask
Approximately 33 percent of home-buyers in the U.S. were first-time buyers in 2018.
Buying a home for the first time can be a scary prospect because there are so many questions to ask about this process.
Read on the find out the essential first time home buyer questions that you need to ask before you buy.
First Time Home Buyer Questions You Need to Ask
Buying a home will probably be one of the most financially costly decisions you make, but it’s also a great investment.
If you are a first-time buyer and you’re nervous about purchasing a home, make sure you do your research and ask the relevant questions.
1. Are You Ready to Buy?
Up first on home buyer questions is: are you ready to buy?
Purchasing a house can be expensive – you don’t just have to think about the price of the house and the mortgage rates. You also need to consider the cost of maintenance, closing fees, furniture, and so on.
Work out your financial situation. Do you have enough money coming in? Have you got enough money for a down payment?
2. What Kind of Mortgage Can You Afford?
Next on the list of questions for first-time home buyers is: what kind of mortgage can you afford?
Working out how much money you have for a down payment is essential for understanding how much you can afford.
Lenders expect between five percent and 20 percent of the loan. It depends on the loan type and different lenders, so do some research to find a loan and down payment that suits you.
3. Do You Have an Emergency Fund?
Still focusing on the financial side of buying a house, you need to ask yourself if you have an emergency fund and/or savings.
If you have been renting up until now, your landlord would pay for maintenance and repairs. When you own your own home, you are responsible for any repairs, so make sure you have some savings.
There are a number of questions to ask a realtor when buying your first home, which might help you from having any nasty fees. For example, you may want to know what’s included in the price.
There are also many checks you can do, such as getting a homebuyer survey done on the property and having a plumbing inspection before you buy a home.
4. Questions to Ask Your Realtor When Buying
When you’re looking around a house, make sure you ask your realtor any questions about the property.
Essential questions to ask include: why the previous owners are leaving, how long the house has been on the market, what is included in the price, will the owners accept a lower offer, etc.
5. What Type of Insurance Do You Need?
Finally, make sure you research the different types of insurance you need. Home insurance covers your possessions if they are stolen or damaged.
You can also get insurance to cover any external or internal damage that might happen to your house, such as a fallen tree or floods. Make sure you do some research to find the best deals and coverage.
For more information on buying a home for the first time, click here.
Research, Research, Research
Follow our guide on the first time home buyer questions to ask. And remember, the more research you do, the more prepared you’ll be for buying your first house.
Check out the latest housing news articles for more tips and information!
Who Is The Real Estate Agent Working For?
Dealing with a listing agent, either as a vendor selling a property, or as a prospective buyer, keen to purchase, can be challenging and stressful.
So how do you find out who the real estate agent is working for, and how can you protect your interests in the property?
In this article, we will look at your options as a vendor selling your home and also what you can do as a prospective purchaser.
What you may not know is not all real estate agents are honest some go rogue, and work outside the rules at their client’s expense.
Over the years, agents have been reported to authorities, for all sorts of dodgy activity. The most common include: encouraging vendors to sell their property for less than market value and persuading motivated buyers to pay more for a property than it’s worth.
When you’re the vendor who has engaged the Agent, most likely you believe you’ve chosen well and your agent is working for you not a prospective purchaser so it would be a shock to learn otherwise.
In most situations this is the way it works, however not always and too often the agent’s own personal agenda gets in the way of doing the right thing and playing the rules.
Property market conditions can and do change the motivations of all parties involved in property sales.
Therefore as the Vendor you need to make sure you have gone the extra mile in your agent selection process. Where the market is in the property cycle does impact on the well-being of the agents and their actions accordingly.
In a buoyant property market, sales prices are rising, and there are lots of listings, therefore even the less successful agents can make a living during this phase. This usually means they’re not desperate for the sales commission, so arguably you can probably escape a bad deal being done during the boom.
In a slump there are generally less property listings as property owners hold until the market turns and they can get a better price. Agents that are less successful can go weeks if not months with a sale and it’s during the tough times that desperation can make some people take extraordinary risks. Vendors need to know markets can change quickly, so it’s your job to choose your agent and their agency wisely.
Do your research on the agent and their agency every time you sell a property. Ask better questions when you’re interviewing them. Seek to learn what they are good at, how they plan to market and sell your property. What you’re looking for is non standard sales speak. They should also have come prepared so they can show you their success with selling properties similar to yours.
Most important is sounding out their knowledge of the market’s phase in the property cycle and their specific local knowledge of listings and sales. Here are a few questions:
- How well do they know their area and what’s happening in it?
- When did they last sell a property similar to yours?
- How long did it take?
- What could be done to shorten the time your property is on the market?
Strategy and Plan
Finally as a vendor, make sure the agent’s goals for your house sale align with your own. An agreement needs to be reached between you and the agent on the condition of your property, and the expected sales price. Agents may suggest some cosmetic work, to modernise or refresh the property. Painting walls, home staging and maybe landscaping to create a welcoming entrance.
Condition of the property
At the same time the agent should be able to give you a guesstimate on how much you need to spend and how much more profit is likely to achieve due to the investment. Of course you’re not going to hold them to it and you’d get quotes from the service providers doing the work, but this extra input does separate the good from the average or extraordinary from the ordinary.
Understand how your home will be marketed, both offline and online. Review the marketing copy and photos, and make sure it’s what you expect from it. Remember the plan is to get your home sold, in good time for the right price.
Prospective Purchaser Relationship
From a purchaser’s prospective it’s best to assume the listing Agent is working for the vendor not you. Their commission comes from the property sale and it is the vendor that has chosen the agent over his or her peers. This doesn’t mean you’ll have no influence, remember the property cycle does change how an Agent may interact with purchasers. Quieter times call for a different approach therefore know where the market is in the property cycle.
What happening in the area you are looking to buy a property? Not all cities or regions are in the same phase of the property cycle.
Property sales prices can be going upwards in one city (boom phase) and dropping in another area (slump phase). So it’s important to know what’s happening where you’re looking to buy as well as have a broader view of the national and global environment. Consider everything that may change the stability of the house price so you can purchase well.
Property Sales Analysis
‘Knowledge is power’ and you can use it before you deal with listing agents.
Do your research before you find the home you want to buy.
The more you understand the local area and recent sales activity as well as what’s on the market for sale; the easier it is, to make sure you pay the right price irrespective of whom you deal with as part of the sales process.
Buying a home is a big ticket item so it’s not the time to be seen as a novice. Yes, it may be your first home purchase but you can be confident when you know what’s happening.
Finally, always seek professional legal advice and it’s always a good idea to communicate with your accountant too before you sign an agreement to buy a property.
Being a vendor or a buyer is no guarantee you’ll be on the right side of a property deal.
The more you know about the property market, and your own circumstances, the more confidence you will have in making the right decision. The aim is to avoid asking the question: Did my agent just rip me off?
Top Reasons to Move to Texas
Texas is a great state to live in for many reasons. If you are in the process of deciding which state you’d like to live in and are weighing all your options let this article help. One of the main things you will learn is the cost of living in Texas is still relatively inexpensive compared to other parts of the USA.
Ross Quade owner of Austin based New Listing Alert explains, “Texas has some wonderful opportunities for people looking to relocate. A good real estate professional can help match the best neighborhoods with your budget.”
The economy in Texas is sizzling. Texas is still producing lots of jobs, and the unemployment rate is currently at 3.7% which is near the lowest ever. Construction and the financial sectors are reliable indicators of the overall job marketed in Texas. The Midland area of Texas has one of the lower unemployment rates in all of Texas so if you are looking to relocate that is one area you should consider.
Is there better food on the planet than in Texas? Whether it is Tex-Mex or BBQ, the great state of Texas delivers. Places like Franklin Barbecue in Austin and Lockhart Chisholm Trail BBQ in Lockhart are Texas traditions. People wait in long lines just for a chance to eat and these places.
Throughout the state, there are plenty of good spots to eat at. In Texas, you don’t need a list because every city and town has one to two go-to locations. Some of these are what you’d call a hole in a wall.
State Income Tax
There are seven states within the United States that have no personal income tax. This is a huge advantage especially for those that make a considerable amount of money. Compare that to states like California where the average state income tax is 6% with the top end of 12%. As you can see moving to Texas from California would nearly pay for your mortgage alone.
Over the past seven years, the price of land in Texas has been going up. The good news is Texas has plenty of land and on the overall scale of things, the price for the land is still relatively low. On average the total cost of the land for a house is around 20%. This varies from city to city but as you can see the land is still very affordable.
Lots of Activities
No matter where you live in Texas there are so many activities you can do and most all within a day trip. Some of the more popular destinations are the Riverwalk in San Antonio, the Space Center in Houston, the Texas State Capital in Austin, and the world-famous Forth Worth Zoo.
If sports are more your thing, there are major sports franchises located near all the large cities. Football is by far the number one watched sport in Texas. Many support their hometown high schools whether they have kids playing or not. The NFL has two major teams with The Cowboys and the Texans.
If you are more of a basketball fan, you have three NBA teams in the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and the Dallas Mavericks.
In addition to sports teams, you can find plenty of hiking, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities in Texas.
How To Buy A Property In Slovenia
Is visiting Slovenia on your bucket list?
This Balkan country is known for its beautiful mountains, with ski resorts, lakes, and ancient architecture. It’s no longer the best kept secret of Europe and many visitors go a step further, and buy a home for their own use exclusively or to use for their holidays and when not in use, rent out on platforms like AirBnB.
While many countries are tightening the rules around home ownership by offshore residents, in Slovenia, it’s not such an ordeal. They’re still welcoming the offshore investment and hence it’s a popular country for homeowners and also tourist now there’s a lot more accommodation available.
Buying A Property In Slovenia Made Easier
In 2004, Slovenia joined the EU, and it meant EU citizens had equal rights to home ownership as its countrymen. In addition to its members there are three other countries that get the privilege.
Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are not in the EU but they’re part of the European Economic Agreement or EFTA and this membership allows its citizens the same equal opportunities as their EU neighbours, including freedom of travel, improved residence and employment terms.
With more movement of people, Solvena’s property has been in hot demand, and not just from EU residents but also from citizens of other countries, many as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
Displaced citizens and their descendants, mainly due to the world wars have been keenly researching their ancestral lines to find a way to secure the many benefits of a EU passport. EU member, Lativa was very successful with hundreds of exiles and their descendants secured dual citizenship, which has in turn opened up the treasure trove of the EU, including the purchase of real estate.
Foreigners can also get their pocket of land in Slovenia when they can prove there’s a reciprocal beneficial interest e.g. prove a Slovenian citizen can buy property in country X, then the citizens of country X can also buy property in Slovenia as well.
And if that doesn’t work the next way in is to have a business in Slovenia or be married to a Slovenian national.
As the saying goes: Where there’s a will there’s a way. 🙂 It pays to understand the process and make sure you’ve got all the paperwork required. Property transactions and the legalities vary in all countries. Get legal advice and contact your team of locally based advisors so you know where you stand before signing a real estate sale and purchase agreement.
The Attraction of Slovenia
Slovenia is considered a safe country. In fact it’s one of the safest in Europe. It has a strong growing economy and stable modern democracy. These are the conditions that appeal to entrepreneurs keen to grow startups. With more business, there will be more demand for workers and no shortage of interest. Accommodation is key to house a growing population, so investment in property and business is a must. Solvenia is definitely ‘open for business’.
The natural landscape and architecture is similar to its neighbour, Austria. The country also borders, Hungry, Croatia and Italy.
Move Where? 4 Key Factors to Help You Figure Out How to Decide Where to Live
Moving regularly ranks as one of the most stressful life events a person can experience.
No matter how excited you might be to start over in a new place, chances are you’re also experiencing a lot of anxiety surrounding your move. For example, you might be wondering how you’re supposed to choose the right place to live.
Finding the right location is essential if you’re going to be happy in your new home. Not sure if you’re making the right decision?
Here are some factors you should consider when you’re trying to figure out how to decide where to live.
How to Decide Where to Live
Whether you want to move to a new city or across the country, there are lots of things to take into account when choosing the location of your new home.
Here are some of the most important things to consider:
1. Tax Burden
There’s a lot of variety in tax rates (and not just property tax rates) depending on which stay you choose to call home.
For example, some states, like Alaska and Oregon, do not charge sales tax. Other states, including Texas, Wyoming, and Washington, do not collect individual income taxes.
If you want to reduce the amount of money you pay each year in taxes, you might want to consider moving to one of these states.
2. Job Opportunities
Of course, you also need to make sure you’ll have opportunities to work in your new city or state.
Before you make a decision, spend some time researching the job markets in the area you’re considering. Take into account differences in salary in different locations, too.
3. Crime Rates
Nobody wants to live in an unsafe area.
Research the crime rates in the state, city, and neighborhood you’re considering before deciding whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
There are lots of online resources that let you look up the number of crimes that have occurred in a particular area, as well as the type of crimes that took place.
4. Cost of Living
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need to take the cost of living in a particular area into account.
Will your current salary allow you to live comfortably? What kind of house or apartment will you be able to afford? How much do things like gas, groceries, and electricity cost in this new area?
Consider all these factors before you decide whether or not you can afford to live in a specific city.
Find Your Dream Location Today
As you can see, there’s not exactly a simple answer when you’re trying to figure out how to decide where to live. But, if you keep these essential factors in mind, you’ll likely find the process to be a lot easier.
Do you need more help planning your big move? Are you unsure of what to look for in a home or how to get the best price on a house?
Whatever information you need, we’ve got it covered in the buy section of our blog. Whether you want to buy a condo or a multi-family home, check out this section for all kinds of helpful advice.
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