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10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Planning to buy a home? Here are some things to be aware of:

1. Lender: Step one – meet with a lender FIRST to find out if you qualify to buy and how much you can afford.

2. Income: Spending no more than one fourth of your income for your home is best. That way you can afford other expenses and, hopefully, keep your home if one partner looses their job.

3. Plan ahead: Make a wish list. Start with what would you love in your home, then narrow down to what you must have. For example, a fireplace is an absolute must have for me. I don’t bother looking at homes without one because I would not be happy living without a fireplace. Minor? Maybe, but not to me.

4. Location: Do you need to be close to work, to schools, to restaurants, to movie theaters? What’s important to your lifestyle? A little extra driving to work may seem like only a minor inconvenience when you find a home you love further out than you’d planned. But, after six months of driving that extra 25 minutes each way, you may not be thrilled with the idea of living in that location for the next 5-10 years. And, what’s it like to get home at rush hour?

5. Schools: I’ve had people say, “oh, we don’t care about the schools, we don’t have children.” Well, you may someday. And, even if they’re grown and gone, good school districts are a huge influence on how quickly you’ll be able to sell your home later.

6. Sunlight: Drive by the house you’re considering at different times of the day. Where does the sun shine into the windows at different times? Do you want plants to bloom in your family room? If so, the room better get plenty of light! Sunlight also impacts things like moss and mold growth.

7. Noise: If the neighborhood is quiet at 10am when you view it with your realtor, is it still quiet at 4pm when the kids are all home from school? What is it like in the evenings?

8. Closing Costs: Get good information about all of your closing costs to avoid surprises at the closing table. Surprises at closing are, unfortunately, not uncommon.

9. Move-in/Ownership Costs: Remember move-in costs like window treatments, carpets, shower curtains. Do you need to immediately buy a refrigerator? And don’t forget additional monthly expenses that may not show up on your buying estimates like: taxes, homeowners dues, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc.

10. Repairs: Nine times out of 10, there will be repair costs. No home is perfect. Doors may not shut (or stay open), faucets may drip, toilets may run. Expect to find a number of fairly minor annoyances that you will want to fix when you begin living in your new home.

Buying a home is an exciting time. It can also be stressful! Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid some of the stress.

What can you add? What did you learn?

I’ve currently buy about 60 houses per year, 80 percent of which I wholesale – the rest we rehab or hold for our rental portfolio.

Financial Planning, For Buying A House

We, so often, become, so emotionally involved, with the concept of home ownership, that, we overlook, and forget about, the necessary details, involved, in properly planning, for, buying a house. When one seeks a house, based on, meeting many needs, goals, and priorities, and considering, present realities, and foreseeable contingencies, he, generally, remains happy, with his decision. Since, for most of us, our house represents our single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to be well – prepared, and fully plan, for the process? With that in mind, while accepting there are many emotional considerations involved (Why would someone want to live somewhere, which doesn’t make him satisfied or happy?), this article will attempt to consider, examine, review, and discuss, some basic essentials of financial planning, for owning a house, of one’s own.

1. Before you begin your search: The better you plan, the easier this process becomes! At least six months, before, you begin your search, either, personally, review your Credit Report, for accuracy, etc, or, consult a recommended, mortgage professional, and ensure, you optimize your credit – worthiness. The better, your credit, the easier the process, of getting the needed loan, as well as, qualifying, for the lowest possible, available rate. Remember, the lower the rate, you pay, the more house – for – your – dollars!

2. Down – payment, and closing expenses/ costs: Since most people, depend on financing (generally via a mortgage loan), you will need, to save, for the down – payment. Most conventional loans ask for 20% down (although some require less), and you must have these funds, liquid, and available. In addition, you will have to pay, a significant amount in closing costs, including, pre – paid real estate taxes and utilities, filing fees, title (title and title insurance), legal costs, etc.

3. Reserves: Will owning a home, of your own, be your American dream, or some sort of nightmare? When prospective homeowners, realize, and commit to the need, to maintain reserves, especially for: a) Unanticipated needs for monthly payments (6 – 9 months reserve is recommended); b) repairs (regular); c) major repairs/ unanticipated; d) maintenance; and, e) renovations, they experience a far lower degree of stress, and tension, during the home ownership experience.

A smart, well – prepared, homeowner, is far more ready, and able, to enjoy, the positives of owning, a home, of one’s own! Will you be a prepared owner, or, cause yourself, lots of extra, unnecessary stress and tension?

What Can Be Done About Overpriced Homes?

Buying a house always reach its climax when price is talked about it. Despite exerting efforts to find homes that are reasonably priced, there will always surface as overpriced. What can you do with them? Or is there something you can really do?

Technically, you can’t do anything about it. Price tags are the decisions of sellers. But realistically, you can make lower offers. In that sense, you are entering into negotiations which may or may not prosper.

If you’re just beginning to look for a house to buy, you can check with the agents how many days the house has been on the market. According to real estate insiders, when a house stays in the market for more than two months, there is something wrong with its price tag.

Further, those homes are also those whose owners may not still be ready to let go. There are strong emotions attached to ownership which may be pushing them to have an over price.

Spotting overpriced homes requires a lot of evaluation. If you are keen enough, you can see how much is the difference of two homes for sale in the same neighborhood. This assuming that both have the same floor area and total area, slightly differing in architectural design and amenities.

Location also plays an important part when telling that a house is overpriced. Despite similarities in footprint, differences in price may exist when site is considered. What could be a cheaper priced house in the inner part of the community may be more expensive near the entrance of a gated community since it is more accessible from main roads, shopping districts, government offices, and service providers.

Overpriced homes tend to stay longer in the seller’s market. Taking this cue, what you can do is to turn its price into an anchor to make lower offers. Yet, make sure you are not offering figures that may seem insulting to the owner. You also have to ready yourself and give reasons for lowering your offer.

Buying a house requires some mathematical analysis, comparisons and calculations. If for these reasons, you tend to be in doubt whether a house you are going to buy is overpriced or not, you can always tap the services of your local real estate agent. Their expertise in handling multiple buy and sell from different clients is already an assurance that you can spot and buy an ideal house that is within your economic capabilities.

The Essentials Of Home Ownership FINANCES

Wouldn’t it be nice, and make more sense, if, potential homeowners, fully considered, the essentials of FINANCES, and planned, accordingly, to achieve their finest goals, expectations, and needs? Since, for most of us, the value of our house, represents our single – biggest, financial asset, shouldn’t we prepare, as well as possible, and proceed, with, eyes – wide – open? With that in mind, this article will briefly consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, why this, so often, makes the difference, between truly enjoying owning a home, and becoming overwhelmed, and needlessly, stressed, by the day – to – day, obstacles, of home ownership.

1. Funding; future: If we, first, examine and consider, as many areas of funding, etc, as possible, we reduce much unnecessary, and avoidable stresses, and hassles. Prepared homeowner, look, at both, current, as well as future needs, and structure, a relevant, quality, financial plan. Most only consider the need for having a down – payment, but overlook the necessary, future reserves, for repairs, renovations, upgrades, maintenance, and, in case of an unforeseen setback. Doing so, requires, a large degree of focus, and discipline!

2. Intentions: Know your personal intentions, before buying a house. Are your plans, to keep it for the longer – term, or, simply, as a starter home? This will dictate, the best way, to organize your personal finances, as it relates to owning a home, of your own!

3. Needs: Do you know, both, your present needs, as well as probable future ones? Those who plan, accordingly, are usually, best – prepared, and enjoy home ownership, in a less stressful way!

4. Asset: Think of your house. not only from an emotional perspective, but, also, as the most significant asset, in your portfolio! Protect it, by preparing for potential eventualities!

5. Nervous: It’s normal, to be, somewhat, nervous, about being a homeowner. The better you plan, and prepare, the happier, and least stressed, you will be!

6. Choices: You’ll face several choices, throughout the process, from the house – hunting, beginning, to owning a house. What kind of house, and property, do you need, will meet foreseeable future needs, and will satisfy, much of what you want, seek and desire? What renovations, upgrades, etc, might align with both your emotional, as well as logical components?

7. Emphasis: Don’t try to keep up, with the Jones’, but determine what’s most important to you, and where you should place, your emphasis!

8. Service; solution: What will serve you, and what is your solution, to aligning and coordinating, your approach, in a head/ heart balance?

The wisest homeowners consider, and prepare, their FINANCES. Will you be, your best friend, or, own, worst enemy?


The Real HOPES Of Buying A New Home

Why is home ownership, often considered, a core component, of the so – called, American Dream? Although every potential home buyer, seeks some different things, perhaps, unique to him, nearly all, enter the process, and period, with specific wishes, and HOPES, so it creates a meaningful, motivating experience. If one begins the process, by focusing on what he seeks, in his own home, as well as, can realistically afford (without becoming home – rich, but otherwise, poor and stressed), the normal and stresses and strains, doubts and insecurities, will be far more limited, and severe! With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why, smart buyers, will pay some attention to some of these core ideas.

1. Heart; heating: The heart of a home, must focus on, the essential bones, of the specific property. A smart buyer recognizes, while one can alter, and amend, the cosmetic aspects of a house, such as painting, flooring, etc, with a minimum of hassle and costs, if the main components, of the property, are weakened, and/ or compromised, you may be purchasing a Money Pit, instead of an enjoyable place to live! Carefully inspect, and consider, the condition, age, and effectiveness of the heating and air – conditioning (HVAC), as well as overall, air quality! Consider, how long, you will be satisfied, with items, such as your kitchen, and bathrooms, because, if this will need renovation, in the near future, a wise home buyer, will factor that additional cost, into his financial estimates, and abilities.

2. Options; opportunities; organized: Is the way, the particular house, is set – up, and organized, something, which you feel, will fit your needs, goals, and personality? Are there any specific options, which you believe, are essential and relevant, to your potential, to fully enjoy, the house? If there’s something, you aren’t 100%, in love with, are there realistic opportunities, to make certain changes?

3. Priorities; perceptions; pricing: Begin with your eyes – wide – open! Seriously, know, and abide by, your personal comfort zone, in terms of pricing, including the selling price, and the costs of any renovations, etc, you will make, in the first year, or two. Does this home, align with your personal perceptions, of where you want to live?

4. Emphasis; energize; energy costs; efficiency: Know your personal emphasis, from the start! A new home should energize you, in a positive manner. Don’t forget to seriously consider, total energy costs, as well as your monthly payments, including, principal, interest, real estate taxes, escrow, and costs of utilities! If you proceed, with a realistic perspective, the process, and adjustment, will be more efficient, and satisfying!

5. Strengths; service; sustainable; systems: Know the house’s strengths and weaknesses, before buying it! Do the strengths, outweigh the potential weaknesses? Will it service your present needs, as well as into the sustainable future? Be certain, all major systems, are in good, reliable, working order, from the start!

When a potential homeowner, focuses on the HOPES of buying a specific house, he becomes more capable of making a wise decision. Since, for most, his house represents his single – largest, financial asset, doesn’t that make sense?


Reasons For Buying, Your Starter Home

Although, we often, consider, home ownership, as one of the core ingredients, in the American Dream, the financial realities of doing so, often, begins, with buying a starter home, rather than, the home of one’s dreams! As a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have often discussed, this concept and approach, as opposed to simply, waiting, and hoping, for the ability, in the future, to buy something else. Life is evolving, and our needs, goals, priorities, and perceptions, often, change over time. Many of us, must, decide, if buying something, focused on now, rather than for the longer – term, may be a smart approach, and alternative, to merely, renting. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some reasons, for purchasing, a starter house.

1. Renting versus buying: When one rents, all the funds, are merely expenses, and go, to your landlord. They become, similar to, paying monthly charges for utilities, and bills. If there is an affordable way, to purchase a house, rather than, merely, renting, you become to build – up, and create, a genuine asset, which usually grows, over time! Wouldn’t you benefit, in a real way, from creating value from your monthly home payments, and, eventually, being able to use the proceeds, towards a down – payment, for something, closer to your dream home? If you have collected, at least some funds (or a family member will provide you, with it), then, a starter home, may be a good idea, for you, and your needs, and priorities!

2. What is a starter home?: What is meant, by a starter house? Generally, it means, accepting your current financial abilities, and situation, and creating a process, for building up your total assets, when the time comes. Since, needs, goals, priorities, etc, change and evolve, over time, as long, as this home, meets your current needs, as well as an apartment rental might, it’s often, a smart approach! Many younger couples begin this way, before they have families, or other needs. Sometimes, this permits someone to sell, and buy something more appropriate in the future, while, for others, if the property and neighborhood, permit (and it makes sense), you might expand it, renovate, and enjoy living there, for a longer- term.

Historically, real estate has been, one of the best overall investments, because it handles, both our housing needs, as well as builds equity, while doing so. Since, for most, our house represents our single, biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to take advantage of, the possibilities?

Credit And Financial Considerations For Potential Home Buyers: The RICH IDEAS

While home ownership is often considered, from an emotional perspective, as an important component, of the so – called, American Dream, achieving one’s objective, requires consistent effort, planning, focus, and attention, in order to ensure, your personal credit and other economic considerations, doesn’t interfere with getting, what you seek, and desire! One must open – his – eyes, and look at the bigger picture, and objective, in a realistic, well – considered manner. This means, having a strategy, preparing, well, in advance, proceeding with well – considered, priorities, and addressing, some of the economic challenges, etc. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, what I refer to, as the RICH IDEAS of smart planning.

1. Responsible; relevant; rationale/ rational: Only when one, commits to responsible behavior, in the period, at least a few years, before you begin your search, for a new home, and prioritizes relevant actions (keeping the goal and objective, as a priority), in a rational way, will you reduce the stress of buying a house. Your rationale must be the big picture, which means, acting responsibly, avoiding unnecessary debt, preserving and saving money, and building financial reserves.

2. Imagination: Imagine what you want, and know, why you do? Realistically, know, both, what you can afford, as well as your personal comfort zone, in terms of home – related obligations. Be prepared!

3. Can – do; creative; credit: Focus on what you can – do, instead of, merely, why you can’t! Seek a creative course of action, leading up to the search, so you might, maximize your credit worthiness, in order to obtain a mortgage, with a minimum of stress, and, on the best terms!

4. Head/ heart: Purchasing a house, requires proceeding, with the finest aspects, of, both, your emotional and logical components. This head/ heart balance, is needed, to be capable of effectively handling, the obstacles, we witness, during this process!

5. Issues: One can obtain, without charge, a copy of his credit report, once, per year. Do so, beginning a couple of years, prior to your home search, so you can address any issues, that need, to be addressed, etc.

6. Delve deeply; discover: It’s important to delve deeply, into every aspect of your personal financial picture. Discover, both, the strengths and weaknesses, and begin fixing any weakness, as soon as possible!

7. Economics; efforts; examine: Examine each economic/ financial aspect, and focus your efforts, in order to, be as prepared, as possible!

8. Attitude; aptitude; attention; actions: Give yourself a check – up, from the neck – up, and enhance your attitude, so you might proceed, with a can – do, positive attitude. Combine this, with developing a relevant aptitude, and paying attention, to your priorities. Never procrastinate, but proceed, with relevant actions, which might improve your credit factors!

9. Self; serves; strengths: Know thy self, so you might enhance your financial strengths, while addressing areas of weakness! Doing so, serves your best interest!

If you really want to purchase a house, try these RICH IDEAS. and let them help you, help yourself! It’s up to you.


Before Buying, Know What You Want In Your New HOME!

Since, for most Americans, their house, represents their single, biggest, financial asset. Therefore, doesn’t it seem, to make very little sense, that, when people are ready to purchase their first HOME, or upgrade to a new one, they appear to often, do so, in a rather, haphazard manner. Wouldn’t it make more sense, if, before buying any specific home, we took the time, and fully considers, what we, personally, sought, and hoped for, in the place, where we will hang our hat? Obviously, we need to consider, economic and financial considerations, so we avoid the so – called, Money Pit, where we become house – rich, but overwhelmed by the obstacles and challenges. However, unless, we, also, fully consider, what we are looking for, and might make us happy/ satisfied, it doesn’t make sense, to proceed. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and represents, and makes sense, to consider, from the beginning of the house hunting.

1. Happiness/ healing/ heart; heating: Living, where you do, should bring you happiness, and self – fulfillment! It should bring you, a healing heart, and spirit! However, major systems of a house, must function effectively, and easily, such as heating, air conditioning, and other major and minor systems, which might impact, your enjoyment of the particular home!

2. Objectives; option; organized; opportunities: Before you begin, take an introspective, objective look. and fully consider your personal objectives, needs, goals and priorities. Which home options, might be most useful, in making you more fulfilled, and happy, living in a specific home? Observe how it is organized, and consider, if, it serves your needs, as is, or, might be easily adaptable (in a somewhat, inexpensive way), to do so! Consider, your immediate, as well as longer – terms needs, and purposes, and whether, you desire, to live there, for a temporary, or a longer period. Recognize those opportunities, this house might present, to serve your needs, in terms of the interior, exterior, neighborhood, school system, and other conveniences.

3. Motivating; meaningful; manageable: Is this house, manageable, or, would it overwhelm you? Is it worth, the effort? What is most meaningful to you, when you consider making this type of significant commitment? Your home must be motivating and inspiring, to your life, as a whole!

4. Energy/ energize; efforts; emphasis; excellence: Be realistic, but seek a degree of excellence, rather than settling, merely for, good – enough! What do you consider, your major emphasis? Is this prospective place, worth your efforts? Will it energize you, and meet your needs, goals, and aspirations, providing you with extra energy?

A house may not be a HOME. When it’s time to purchase one, seek a house, which you’ll make, a home, of your own!


Considering A Home?: Start With The Basement

After well over a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have observed, that the vast number of individuals, pay, far too little attention, to one of the most significant parts of a house. While it may be, more fun, and more enjoyable, looking at the kitchen, bedrooms, and beautiful bathrooms, a wise, educated, house – hunter, begins by taking a close look, at the basement. It’s amazing how much, might be learned, when one looks there, including: some major core components; any existing, or previous structural damage; whether there is a water issue; and what, is often, referred to, as the, bones of the house. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss. some of the reason, a house’s basement, often, indicates so much about the home, itself.

1. Heating System: In the overwhelming number of instances, the major core, of a house’s heating system, is located in the basement. First, is the system, electrical, oil, or gas, or any combination, including alternatives, such as solar and geo – thermal? What is the age, and condition, of the burner, and boiler? How noisy or quiet is it? How often has it be serviced? Are there any odors, etc? How is it vented, etc?

2. Electrical: Look at the electric box. What level of service is in the house, 100 amp, or 220 amp? How neat, organized, and clearly labeled, is the box? If there is any need, to address future electrical issues, how easily might, an electrician, be able to locate, the root/ cause, of the problem?

3. Water: How old is the hot water tank? What condition is it in?

4. Finished legally: Are the finished parts of the basement, legally done, with proper permits, inspections, etc? Are there any indications of excessive moisture, or a concerning odor?

5. Water Damage: Does there appear to be, any indication of past water damage? Look at the walls, floors, and ask, pointing questions, to discover, whether there has ever been damage, etc! Is there any built – in, dehumidifier, etc?

6. Structural: Inspect the beams, and other structural supports, especially in exposed areas (usually unfinished areas, such as near the burner/ boiler, utility room, laundry room (false ceiling), and consider, whether there are any signs of termites, carpenter ants, etc. Although, you may not notice any issues, before purchasing, have a professional, inspect, to be certain, you know, before you buy!

7. Neatness: The condition, and whether it’s neat and clean, is often, a clear indicator, of how well, the house, has been cared for.

You can generally change a kitchen, bathroom, and renovate/ upgrade, various parts of a house, but, unless, it’s got the bones, you aren’t using a common sense approach, to buying a home! Will you follow this logical approach, or merely, an emotional one?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/10102968

A Home Buyer’s Caveat: KNOW What You Want!

There are a number of reasons, individuals begin to search for a home, of their own, or a new home. While some, are focused on their needs, goals, and priorities, others become absorbed by the concepts of the so – called, American Dream, of owning a home, of your own! Smart home buyers must be ready, and prepared, to proceed, with their eyes – wide – open, so they clearly, KNOW, what they seek, and what they might afford, as well as what will serve their needs, both today, and into the future. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Knowledge; keep it; kitchen: How will you decide, if a particular house, is best for you, and your true needs? Will you take the time, and make the effort, to learn, as much as possible, about the options and alternatives, as well as relevant aspects, and use your knowledge, to make you, a smarter, better prepared consumer? Are you considering, using this house, as a starter home, or will you keep it, into the foreseeable future? Why do you believe you will be happy, and well – served, living there?

2. Needs; nuances; niche; necessities: How will you determine your needs, goals, priorities, etc? How will a particular house, make you happier, and satisfy your need? Are there, specific nuances, which you believe, are most essential, to being happy, in your home? Would you identify, with some specific niche, and why? If you considered things carefully, can you differentiate between necessities/ priorities, and your personal, wish list?

3. Objectives; options; organized; optimize: Begin your house hunting, process, by clearing understanding and knowing your personal objectives! What specific options, are most important, for your present, and anticipated future, life style? Is the specific house, capable of being organized, to address your priorities, and is it possible to optimize your living experiences?

4. When; why; where; what; wonderful: When do you want to move in, and when do you need to? Why are you looking for a home, and this specific one? Is it located, where you will be best – served? What is needed, and necessary, to make your living experience, more wonderful?

Before you commit to buying, the best home, for you, KNOW what you need to know, and be prepared, as well as what, you seek, to be happy there! Will you commit to the process?