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How to Make Your Offer Stand Out From the Rest
Posted on Fri, 30 Sep 2016, 10:10:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips
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In a competitive real estate market where demand outpaces inventory, the seller gets to call the shots. Sellers have the knowledge that they can name almost any price and still receive multiple offers. This places buyers in the position of trying to get their offer to stand out from those of other bidders. The following tips will give you a leg up if you should find yourself in a bidding war.

 

Write a Letter:

Make your offer stand outLetting the seller get to know a little about you and your family can increase your chances of having your offer accepted. Even though they are moving, most sellers still love the home and want to know that it will be well-cared for by the next family. Writing a personal letter letting the seller know why you love the home and feel that it is perfect for your family may put your offer on top.

 

Be Flexible Regarding Inspections:

In a multi-offer situation, it may help to shorten your inspection time. This will show that you are motivated and willing to work with the seller for an expedited closing. You can also agree to an “as is” inspection. This allows you to find out about the condition of the property, and the seller will not be forced to pay for a long list of costly repairs. You then have the choice of accepting the house and paying for the repairs or walking away.

 

Be Willing to Adjust the Closing Date:

Closing dates are typically agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller. You may gain favor with the seller if you agree to adjust the timetable to meet their needs for either an expedited or delayed closing. Of course, you need to be able to handle the financial implications of such an arrangement, including the possibility of having to pay two mortgages if you end up closing before your current home sells.

 

Make Your Offer Non-contingent:

The majority of home offers are contingent on appraisal and financing, which allows the buyer to receive a refund of their deposit if their financing falls through or the appraisal is below the purchase price. By waiving these conditions, you put yourself on an equal footing with cash offers. If you choose this approach, you should make sure that you have already been completely approved for the mortgage and have enough funds on hand to make up the difference if the appraisal should fall short of the purchase price.

 

Add an Escalation Clause:

Many buyers expect an opportunity to counteroffer and tend to save their best and final offer until the end. In a multi-offer situation, the seller may accept the highest offer and reject the others without any attempt at negotiation. An escalation clause automatically increases your offer by a specified amount over a competing offer up to a pre-determined amount. This lets the seller know that you are willing to pay more but not more than is necessary to win the contract.

 

Get Pre-approved:

A preapproval lender from a mortgage lender shows that you have already submitted the necessary documentation to qualify for the loan. This helps alleviate any fears on the part of the seller that the offer may fall through at the last minute because of a lack of financing.

Finally, trust your realtor. They can give you valuable insight into the market value of a property and the possible motivations of the seller.


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Consumers Looking to Buy or Sell Homes
Posted on Thu, 15 Sep 2016, 10:05:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips
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Canadian real estate continues to have unusual periods of activity in which prices and sales increase faster than their average rates. Prices have surged dramatically in some markets recently. For example, prices rose sharply and some high profile sales occurred in the current quarter in Vancouver. A large number of which involved foreign investors.

 

Bubble Talk Rises

Looking to buy and sellAs prices soared in Vancouver and increased in Toronto, the talk in the financial news raised the notion of a real estate bubble. In Canadian financial news, bubble talk rises whenever prices show spurts of rapid growth, and this is no exception. The realistic assessment of price increases, when compared to wages and incomes, makes a stark picture. Prices rise much faster than wages and incomes. The conclusion from those facts for some analysts is that prices will outstrip income, and the real estate market will crash. The bubble did burst in recent memory, but it was in the US in 2006.

 

Speculation in the Hot Markets

Speculation can be a symptom and a cause of overheating in real estate markets. In the case of Vancouver real estate, it is clearly a symptom. The market has been warm for more than a decade and occasionally goes into a heightened state. There is a significant amount of speculation in the Vancouver market and real estate investors take passing positions on a property to get a quick flip and short-term profit.

 

Tax collection Issues Surface

Speculators sometimes play a useful role in bringing more transaction to a timely close. These investors have speed and profits as their driving forces. They can sometimes create enormous streams of personal and corporate cash as real estate activity can rise to impressive spikes at times. In Vancouver, news media carried a number of headlines and reports and prominent investigations by the Canadian Revenue service into tax payments. With information focused on particular individuals, the reports create a picture of active foreign investors and real estate agents fully engaged in the high paced current market.

 

Taxes Are Good for the Public

Real estate taxes and income taxes benefit the Canadian people and government. The high volume of sales causes an enormous amount of financial, and other economic activity. The tax revenues from sellers and agencies involved in the record levels of sales volumes is a boost for the government. This increase in revenues comes during a time when oil revenues bring less than anticipated due to a global slowdown in crude oil.

 

Investigations may Change the Laws

Some discussion includes the idea of enforcement. Other officials have ventured the possible need to change policies or amend the tax laws to get a better and more just level of enforcement. Local officials can determine the extent of compliance with the law in their areas; the national government would have to consider the impact on government financing and the economy

 

BC and Ontario Bear the Brunt

Toronto and Vancouver are the centers of real estate market growth, high sales spikes, and speculation. They will have to work with the national government to resolve issues and develop more effective revenue collection policies. Many media reports and investigations centered around these two markets, and the House of Commons has initiated hearings to study the issues.

 

Speculation and Overheating

Tax collection is part of a larger problem in the major markets. Speculation can lead to overheating in these major markets which could adversely affect the national real estate market. The idea of speculation as a major factor in Vancouver and Toronto would concern the entire Canadian financial system. While Toronto and Vancouver would have a strong interest in curbing speculation, they can do no more than enforce current laws. The impact of overheated markets is a national issue.


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The Top Things To Consider When Buying Or Selling
Posted on Mon, 15 Aug 2016, 02:50:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips
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It doesn't matter if you actually want to buy a new home or sell the one you are currently in, so long as you remember there are a handful of things that can significantly effect the cost of the house. While many people may think it is important to have high end finishes, the truth of the matter is you need to be wary of some of the high dollar items. Finishes are just that; finishes. But, if you have to dig into the bones of a home to make changes whether you are prepping to sell or considering buying, these are the items you must be conscious of.

Mold and Mildew

considerAny time a potential buyer spies mold or mildew growing on or inside of a house it can be a significant problem. Not only does mold signify there are tremendous problems with respect to drainage or leaks, but the fact of the matter is if you have mold in or around your house it can be a nightmare. Mold isn't just an allergic and poisonous substance by itself, but it can spread and get into other things all around the rest of the home before you even know it. In order to remove the mold spores you have to pull up finishes and expose the underlying wood, and the remediation can be extremely touchy as well to make sure you have removed it all. If you are preparing to buy then you definitely need to have a mold test. And, if you are going to sell, you should ensure you know about any mold problems far in advance as well.

Rotting Wood or Dryrot

If you happen to be in an area that has termites or you think you could wind up having any other problems with unfinished and untreated wood in a given house, then you have to be aware of wood problems. Because woods are the bones of your home you should be able to imagine the complications that can occur when your structural integrity is compromised. Not only could you see minor shifts in the house or home if support starts to give away, but you can also wind up having more problems come in through the holes where wood used to be. Throw in the fact that termites or other pests may still be present once you have seen signs of them being there and you can tell why checking for dry rot or other wood problems like termites can be very important to sniff out ahead of time.

Foundation Issues

If you want to buy a house and there are cracks in it, you should keep your eyes open. Obviously houses settle and shift over time. However, if you have a problem with the actual structural foundation itself then you could absolutely be looking into significatn costs. Likewise, if you are going to try and sell your home at some point then you should verify any minor structural problems now to stop them from getting worse and to fix them for later. 

General Pests

Pests can be a problem in any home for a few reasons, but one of the worst things about pests is the damage they can leave behind. Not only will fumigating and general cleanup run a decent amount of money, but you can also see the tremendous amount of long term annoyance that can come with trying to find the holes, cracks, or entryways that pests use and will continue to use.

As long as you are able to consider all of the problems or potential pitfalls that can come with buying a house, then you should be in a much better position for pricing and awareness. However, if you are looking to sell your house then you should absolutely be aware of the highest cost items to repair when it comes time to sell.


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Breaking Down the Mortgage Payment
Posted on Mon, 30 May 2016, 10:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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When you buy a home, you're greeted with a complex mortgage payment that may appear confusing at first. Unlike a rental payment, the monthly mortgage amount is a mixture of several different charges. For first-time home buyers, it's important to understand what you're paying for each month. With mortgages lasting 20 years or longer, understanding them should be a top priority for investors.


Principal and Interest
The main parts to any mortgage are principal and interest. The principal is the amount you agreed to pay the sellers during the bidding process. For example, the initial home price or principal might have been $150,000. When you pay your mortgage each month, you slowly pay down the principal's initial amount. The interest amount is the money charged to your loan by the lender based on your good credit. When you begin your mortgage payments, you'll normally pay more interest than principal. As time goes by, the principal will be paid off faster than the interest. Most lending institutions use this amortisation schedule for their clients.

Trust Accounts Explained
If you only paid the principal and interest on the mortgage, you'd have a rude awakening when property taxes and insurance are due. Every year, you must calcpay a certain amount of taxes on your property. These taxes pay for community resources, such as schools and emergency services. Depending on your Canadian region, taxes could be due every quarter or on a semiannual basis. Insurance is required by the lender because the home must be covered in the event of a catastrophic accident or natural disaster. You can easily pay for taxes and insurance by adding a trust account to your mortgage payment. In one lump sum, you'll pay the principal, interest, taxes and insurance. As a result, you won't receive a huge bill for these items. They're simply paid off in small increments across the entire year.

Monthly or Weekly Payments?
In most cases, you'll pay for your mortgage on a monthly basis. The interest is calculated monthly, and allows you to make 12 payments each year. This payment schedule usually culminates in a mortgage period that lasts 15 or 30 years. However, you do have the option of paying for your mortgage on a weekly basis. Essentially, your monthly payment is divided by four, and the bank withdraws this lower weekly amount on a day of your choosing. Because there are 52 weeks in a year, you'll make an extra monthly payment with this scheduling type. As a result, you'll pay fewer interest charges and complete the mortgage in less time than a standard monthly payment.

Adding Onto Your Payment
Another way to pay off your mortgage faster is adding an amount to the standard monthly payment. Every time you receive your mortgage bill, there's a section for an additional payment. Add any funds you can to the principal. Over time, you'll reduce the mortgage's length and save substantially on interest amounts. However, don't compromise your budget to add this extra amount. Always pay the required mortgage, and only add to it when it's possible. You should still have a comfortable lifestyle with any mortgage amount.

A smart way to start any home buying process is beginning with a trusted lender. This bank can look over your income and compare it to your liabilities. Using complex calculations, the lender forms a mortgage payment that you can afford. It's based on a given property value range, such as $200,000 to $250,000. Use this pre-approved lender amount to guide your property search. When you remain within the pre-approved price range, you'll have no problems affording the monthly payment.


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How to Clean Up Your Credit Before Buying a House
Posted on Sun, 15 May 2016, 11:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services
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Since mortgage interest rates have been low for several years, many home buyers are under the misconception that their credit score won’t make that much difference in the amount they pay over the life of the loan. In reality, even a point or two difference in the interest rate can easily amount to $50,000 to $100,000 over the term of the average 30-year home loan. A lower interest rate may also result in lower monthly payments, which can leave extra cash in your pocket. The secret to qualifying for the best interest rate on your mortgage is to start whipping your credit score and history into shape at least a year before applying for your loan. The following steps will help you improve your financial picture so that you can face your mortgage lender with confidence.


What Is a Good Credit Score?
Credit scores range anywhere from 300 to 850. Your score is calculated using a combination of factors, including the length of credit history, past payment history, type of credit, and amounts owed in relation to available credit. As a general rule, individuals with credit scores 740 and above are in a position to qualify for the best loan rates. You may still qualify for a mortgage even if your score is below 740; however, you will likely pay one to two points more in interest.

Get Your Credit Report:
It is important to review your credit report at least once a year, so you will have a clear picture of where you stand. Be sure to dispute any inaccuracies that youmoney may find with the credit bureaus.

Lower Your Debit-to-Income Ratio:
Your debit-to-income ratio is the amount of debt your lender believes your income will support. It is recommended that you keep housing payments at no more than 28 percent of your monthly income. You should strive to keep the total of all your debt to less than 36 percent of your income. You can lower your debt-to-income ratio by eliminating any low-balance loans that are close to being paid off and reducing your outstanding credit card debt.

Get Rid of “Toxic” Accounts:
In-store financing and rent-to-own accounts have horrendous interest rates, high payments, and have a bigger impact on your credit score than other types of debt. It is best to pay off and close these accounts as quickly as possible.

Pay on Time:
Almost everyone has had a few late payments here or there. You can lessen the effect of past payment problems by ensuring that you have at least six to 12 months of consistent on-time payments before applying for a mortgage.

Lower the Amount of Credit You Utilize:
You should try to keep credit card balances to less than 20 percent of the total credit line. You should also avoid closing credit cards as you pay them off unless they are store cards or have an annual fee. Closing the accounts will lower your amount of available credit and actually increase your debt-to-income ratio.

Avoid Applying for New Debt:
Opening up a lot of new credit lines at once can lower your credit score. Each time you apply for credit, the lender places a hard inquiry on your credit, which has an adverse effect on your overall score. An influx of new accounts also raises a red flag for lenders that you are about to become overextended. 

It can be frustrating to have to delay your home search in order to work on your credit; however, a little patience and diligence can earn you thousands of dollars in savings. 

 


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Splitting Up Your Studio Apartment
Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2016, 12:00:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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A studio apartment is the perfect spot for anyone who does not need a lot of space. You have the necessary rooms such as a kitchen and bathroom, but the living room and bedroom are usually in the same area. You do not have to have to sacrifice the privacy of a bedroom just because you are moving into a studio apartment. You can easily divide your space into different zones by keeping the following tips in mind.


Area Rugs: Area rugs may not create the privacy of a screen or wall, but the rugs still work with creating different zones. The key is to purchase rugs in different styles and designating them to a specific zone. Start by placing a large floral print rug in the bedroom area and a blue or beige rug in the living room. A medium sized brown rug would look good in the dining area, and you can create a pathway in the kitchen with a narrow striped rug.

Chinese Screen: A regular Chinese screen can be used as a portable wall in your apartment. Open the screen to divide your space into different rooms, and close the screen when you want to expand your space. You even move the screens around to re-arrange your zones.

Chinese Wedding Bed Screen: A Chinese wedding bed screen actually looks like a small bedroom, and it even includes a space to hang curtains.arearug You can turn the bed itself into a bedroom by investing in a headboard with shelves and keeping the curtains closed.

Curtains: Use self-adhesive hooks, rods and large curtains split the apartment into different zones. One idea is to hang a curtain over entrance to the kitchen and living room. You can close the curtains to keep the zones separate and private, or you can open the curtains to create an inviting atmosphere.

Entertainment Center with Storage: You can also separate the living room and bedroom by investing in an entertainment center with storage space. The entertainment center should have a solid back with cabinets or shelves. The shelves and cabinets become an additional storage solution for DVDs, video games, electronics and decorative pieces.

Headboard Divider: A bed with a large headboard can be used to separate your bedroom and living room. The headboard creates a visual aid of where the living room ends and the bedroom begins. If your bed does not have a large headboard, you can purchase a new headboard or replace it with a bookcase. All you have to do is place the back of the bookcase against the bed to create the headboard and divider.

Wardrobes: Invest in several large wardrobes and line them up side by side to create a divider between your bedroom and living room. You can even place them up around your bedroom area to create a small room, but remember to leave enough space for the entrance. A fun idea is to alternate the back and front of the wardrobes to create a storage solution for each zone.

Tall Bookcases: You can divide your space and even create an entryway by investing in tall bookcases. Use bookcases with solid backs to create more privacy in certain zones such as the bedroom or dining area. You can create more visual space by using bookcases with open backs.

The Chinese wedding screen bed, wardrobes and tall bookcases are ideal for a permanent arrangement. If you find yourself re-arranging your zones often, then you may want to stick with the area rugs, curtains and regular Chinese screens.

Dividing your space into zones is just one way to make your studio apartment feel like home. All you need are a few accessories or pieces of furniture, and you have a creative way to split up your studio apartment.

 


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Buying a home for a young family
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 10:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services,  Real Estate Market
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Moving out of a rented house to your house is one of the greatest achievements in life. In Canada, there are several young families owning their first home. Most of these have one or two kids less than eighteen years. 

If this describes you and you are buying a family home, it is important to consider convenience and safety in your buying process. Most serious accidents happen at home when fixture, features, and fittings are not safe for kids. Here are a few tips to ensure safety. 


Look for a kid-friendly floor plan If you have small kids, it is good to keep an eye on them all the time. Avoid buying homes with a main-floor master plan. An open floor plan house would be the best. Moreover, look at the steepness of the stairs from your garage to the main house especially if you have to carry your kids from the garage. Lastly, consider the indoor play area. There should be enough space for kids to play with toys especially in cold weather. Size up the youngfamilyyard Your kids need to play outside and enjoy the sunshine. Do not overlook this need. Look for a home with a safe yard that is large enough for your kids to play on it. You may find a home with a large deck that can be used as a play area. However, if you have very small children, the deck may be too dangerous for them. On the flip-side, a yard will cost you much more to maintain. However, you could use a nearby playground if your children are big enough to play there. Where are the bedrooms located? 


There are different house designs with some having bedrooms on one floor, others on different floors and yet others with some bedrooms in the basements. If the master bedroom is on the top floor and the other bedrooms on the ground floor, be contended with frequent climbing and down the stairs at night to check the children. This setup may be good for a family with teenage children as it is advisable to separate the bedrooms. Interior safety, Find ways to keep areas such as the pool from children. Moreover, look at low hanging lights, piping and similar fixtures. In the same breath, check on the safety of the stairs, and the bathroom. Try to buy a house that is safe or one that you can modify to enhance its safety. How is your neighborhood? 


You may make a few renovations to your house, but you cannot change the neighborhood. Thus, choose the location carefully. Pay a visit to the prospective home with your family and ask them to give their views about the place. Moreover, look at the cleanliness, security, the condition of access roads and availability of utilities such as water and electricity. Look for the safety of your kids and the overall comfort of the whole area. See if the roads nearby are too dangerous to cross if your kid decided to head to the stores. Is there any place that you can jog or ride a bike should you decide to keep healthy? Find out if there are very noisy nightclubs within your vicinity. It is also good to find out if there are other families in the area. How far are public amenities from the home? Look for groceries, stores, schools hospitals and the like. The nearer they are to the home the better. You may also look at the location of parks and other places of interest where you can spend time with your family.

 


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Upgrades to Make When Selling Your Home
Posted on Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 12:10:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  My services
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For homeowners who want to sell their property quickly and attract buyers, it's important to allow the house to shine once it's on the market. The appeal of the property will determine how quickly you receive an offer and how much of a profit you can potentially make. When getting ready to list your home, there are a few important upgrades to make to get it ready to sell.

Perform a Minor Bathroom Remodel
The bathroom is one of the most important rooms of the home due to how much it's used each day. Buyers want to purchase homes that have upgraded and attractive bathrooms instead of outdated fixtures. By investing in a bathroom remodel, the average return at resale is 102 percent, making it a smart step to take. Perform upgrades that include installing new hardware, staining the cabinets, installing new tiles, and adding a new tub. You can also remove an outdated shower our tub and replace it with a walk-in feature that has multiple shower heads and doesn't have any doors for a setting that resembles a spa. Walls in the patiobathroom that are damaged can also be repaired with spray-on texture.

Increase the Curb Appeal
The curb appeal of the property is the first impression that you make on your buyers and will ultimately determine how many people visit the home after seeing it advertised. Fertilize the lawn, install a water feature, and extra shrubs, and consider painting the door with a pop of color for a exterior space that stands out in the neighborhood. You can even add an archway to add a feature that works as a focal point in the yard. Remove clutter in the yard and keep it manicured, which will increase the property value of the home.

Convert the Attic into a Room
Although attics were originally used for storage, more people are transforming it into a setting that serves multiple purposes. Consider converting the attic into an additional bedroom, a gym, or an entertainment center. Many people also choose to use the space as a home office for telecommuting. This can allow you to have an average return of 93 percent at resale. You can also add insulation to the attic to reduce the cost of energy on the property and allow the room to become more functional.

Remodel the Kitchen
Remodeling the kitchen is one of the most important steps that homeowners can make with their property when selling it to attract more buyers. The average return at resale is 91 percent, but this can allow the home to sell quicker instead of sitting on the market for several months. Install backsplashes, add a kitchen island, and upgrade the countertops with concrete material for a modern design that peaks buyers' interest. You can also consider installing brushed nickel hardware on the cabinets and adding white subway tiles on the walls for a decorative backsplash. You can even add French doors, which will allow plenty of light in and will make the room to feel more spacious.

Add a Deck or Patio
Make it easy to entertain and enjoy the backyard setting by installing a deck or patio where future homeowners can entertain. Consider adding potted plants and furniture for an environment that can be used to enjoy a bonfire or sit out and read. Enhancing the appeal and functionality of the backyard will attract more buyers for extra space that can be enjoyed on the property.


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Budgeting Strategies For The New Homeowner
Posted on Thu, 21 Jan 2016, 02:20:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  My services,  Real Estate Market
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Moving into your first, new home can be a very exciting experience. In order to successfully preserve your investment throughout the years, however, you'll have to remain diligent in your budgeting and overall financial planning. Adjusting to ownership costs can be challenging but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Following are several tips that you can use to ensure overall well-being as you take on a host of new responsibilities.


Limit Your Maintenance Costs With A Home Warranty
As a new homeowner, ongoing maintenance is among one of the most considerable overhead expenses that you'll likely take on. Not only will you be responsible for preserving the aesthetic appeal of the property exterior, but you'll also have to address the various signs of wear and tear that are likely to rear their heads as your property settles and endures consistent use. Fortunately, you can minimise the costs of unexpected repairs and events by investing in a comprehensive home warranty. Warranty agreements can be structured to cover any repairs that your home insurance plan will not, including issues with major home appliances. Although you'll pay an upfront fee to bind one of these agreements, warranties can significantly lower your out-of-pocket spending over time.check

Take Advantage Of Your Builder's Warranty
Much like any other product that you invest in, your home will come with a built-in guarantee of its own that's issued by your builder. If it is suitably comprehensive, this can take the place of a third-party warrant or effectively supplement it. Take some time to read up on your builder's warranty agreement in order to get a clear understanding of the features that are covered and the length of time that this coverage will last. Builders may be willing to deal with the minor chips and cracks that are caused by settlement issues. They can also cover any early signs of wear and tear on your new paint, flooring and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Major features such as the foundation and roof will likely be warranted a bit longer. Thus, before you pick up your phone and schedule repairs or pay for outside, extended protections, find out whether or not you can have your builder handle your repair issues instead.

Control Your Utility Costs
If you've spent a considerable amount of time as a renter, adjusting to the full costs of home utilities will take time. You will have more space to heat up and cool down and far greater electrical needs. Explain this change to the entire family and get everyone on board with a strategic, energy-savings plan. This can be as simple as turning lights off in rooms that aren't being used and keeping thermostats set at moderate levels year-round. It is far cheaper to don a sweater or take one off than it is to constantly adjust the thermostat in order to create the ideal climate indoors.

Don't Rush To Furnish Your New Home
People often make the mistake of rushing to buy new furnishings, even before their mortgage loans have been approved. During the final stages of the purchasing process, try to limit your shopping to window shopping alone. Dramatic changes in you debt-to-income ratio could make your lender rethink the loan amount that's been approved. Remember, nothing is absolutely set in stone until your application is actually being processed by the underwriter. Rather than financing new sofas, bedroom sets and dining tables, start looking around for quality items that you can gradually collect over time. Even after your purchase has been finalised, you'll want to give yourself a few months to adapt to your new living costs before taking additional expenses on.

 


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Home Buying In A Nutshell - How To Prepare For The Purchase
Posted on Tue, 31 Mar 2015, 11:47:23 AM  in Home buying tips

Buying a home is indeed embarking upon a journey, one that is a milestone in your life, marking your biggest investment and your own land and dwelling. There is a certain instinctive appeal, and it doesn't matter if it's the first time or the tenth time. Your home is your home.

Home buying requires many different steps, hence the journey, and while many of the steps are mirrored from buyer to buyer, personal circumstances and choices can alter the process here and there. It's always good to be as prepared as possible for this type of investment, and the following tips and tricks can focus you forward toward owning a home.

#1 Types Of Mortgages

It's not good enough to know there are conventional mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages. It's not good enough to know that there are different mortgage lengths and interest rates. You need to know the details, laws, options and the structure of a mortgage.

Becoming more familiar with the process helps ensure you end up establishing a relationship with the right lender, and of course you secure the ideal mortgage terms. This also helps you communicate to lenders your needs.

#2 Credit Report

It's not just your credit score that you need to see. You need to take an in-depth look at your credit report. That's what the mortgage lenders are going to do, so don't you think it should be your move, too? There are so many different things you can do to improve your credit score if you have less than stellar credit.

Furthermore, you want to know what is on there to make sure that it's all correct. Familiarizing yourself with what the mortgage lenders are going to look for can help you decide if your credit report is in good shape. You don't want to be reaching out to all the mortgage lenders without an aim.

#3 Pre-Approval

Remember, you have to have your aim. After looking through your credit report, and after searching through the mortgage companies with prior knowledge about the mortgage process under your belt, you're ready to get pre-approved!

This process helps you take a look at your financial picture and the amount you can afford when purchasing a home. This way you go into searching for a home with a realistic outlook and can really find the best home for your family.

#4 The Search

It's time for "the search." You're pre-approved for a certain amount of money, and you're ready to find the perfect home. Whether or not you get in touch with a real estate agent at this time is your choice. There are indeed many sites out there where you can search through many property listings without ever having to talk to anyone.

However, at least once you've gathered several homes together and want to schedule visits, it's time for an agent. The agent can lead you through the rest of the home buying process, especially since you've already taken care of the banking side of things. All you have left to do now is negotiate your offer on a property you choose and get ready for the closing process!

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