Curb appeal speaks volumes. It not only creates a welcoming vibe to your home, but it also plays a key role in its value, too. Given this, it's important to keep up with your home's curb appeal and spruce it up if need be.
All homeowners want to take measures to make sure their homes are secure and that all occupants within their homes are kept safe at all times. When it comes to condos, there is usually an added level of security in the form of a locked main entrance, security cameras, or 24-hour concierge.
Sellers are obviously interested in knowing the value of their homes so they can figure out roughly how much they can potentially sell for. But buyers also want to know the value of homes they're interested in and may put an offer on, as it will help them determine an appropriate and competitive offer.
There are a handful of important steps that should be taken when you list your home for sale, and staging is one of them.
Sales across the nation have dropped over 8% in January compared to the same time last year, though it's expected that such a slow down has tapered off.
Listing your property on vacation rental sites like Airbnb can be a great way to supplement your income.
Everyone needs their own space, and fences can provide homeowners with just enough privacy to enjoy their homes without feeling like they're constantly on display.
If you're in the mood to do a little remodeling, you might take to the internet to gain some inspiration. The following sites top the list in terms of ideas, content, and DIY projects.
You wouldn't try to rewire your home, give yourself a root canal, or replace the engine in your car on your own without the help of a professional, would you?
Buying a house is a big deal, so it's only natural for buyers to ask others for advice before taking the plunge.
Investing in real estate is a great way to build wealth over time and even make a very handsome income as a career.
Real estate sale prices inched up in December, though the number of existing family home sales dipped.
The more common way to buy a home is to peruse listings on the MLS and make an offer with the help of a real estate agent.
Moving is a big deal. Think of all the things that you've likely accumulated over the years and have stored all over your home, not to mention the process of selling your home and looking for a new one that will suit your lifestyle - and your budget.
Out of all debt payments that you may have on the books, a mortgage payment will likely be one of your biggest.
When it comes to real estate transactions, sellers may often hold out for a better offer and might not necessarily take the first offer too seriously.
The average household wastes 51 MMBtu's every year, and a typical home wastes about 30% more energy than an energy-efficient home does.
Buying a home is a big deal, and you need the right team beside you to help you navigate the process and end up with a successful transaction.
Before a buyer decides to put in an offer on a home, they'll need to see the property in person first.
Unless you've got a lump sum of cash to put down, getting a mortgage is part and parcel of buying a home.
Air conditioners are a homeowner's best friend, and these systems work hard to keep your indoor air cool and comfy.
Short sales and foreclosures were rampant a decade ago when the housing market crashed and millions of homeowners found themselves underwater on their mortgages.
FHA loans are known for being somewhat easier to get approved for since their credit requirements tend to be less stringent than conventional loans and down payment amounts don't have to be as high.
It's quite common for people who are nearing retirement age to consider moving from their family home and into one that better meets their newfound needs.
September saw a dip in existing-home sales across the US from the month before, likely a result of rising interest rates.
When you buy a home, you normally take out a mortgage to finance such a huge purchase. That's considered your first mortgage.
What if there was a way to pay rent and not have to come up with a massive down payment for a home, but end up owning your home at the end of the day?
Condos are great options for buyers who may be looking for something more affordable than traditional single-family homes.
If you're planning to sell your home sometime soon, it's time to start prepping your home for the prospective buyers who will visit.
A healthy economy is certainly a good thing when it comes to demand for housing, but how much can the economy actually impact the real estate market?
Millennials are a unique demographic. They're well-informed and are very sophisticated when it comes to what they want, particularly when it comes to the home they plan to buy.
Going to an open house? Mind what you say, as you can inadvertently sabotage your position if the wrong people are listening in.
If selling your home quickly and for as much money as possible is what you're after, then hiring a professional home stager can be the secret sauce that you're looking for.
Divorce is a highly unfortunate situation, but it can become extremely complicated when there are joint assets involved that need to be split up.
If you live in a subdivision - whether new or old - odds are your home's layout is pretty similar to the rest of the homes on the block.
First-time homebuyers make up a big chunk of all the buyers on the prowl for a new home. But what exactly do they look like?
Ever wonder how much those amazing homes you see on television or in the movies are really worth in real life?
Sales of existing homes dipped again in July, slowing to a pace not seen in months. However, prices in July increased for the 77th straight month to new highs.
The amount of money you borrow to finance a home purchase is obviously the key factor in how much your mortgage payments will be.
If your credit score is on the low side, you could find it pretty tough to get approved for a mortgage.
Here are some of the biggest reasons why FSBOs wind up seeking the help of a real estate agent to help them seal a deal.
Home sellers usually don't have to pay any capital gains taxes on profits made upon the proceeds of a sale because they are typically using those proceeds to be put towards another home to move into.
If you're going to be spending the big bucks on a home purchase, you want to make sure you don't end up with a property that's just going to cause you problems long after you move in. But what if the home you're planning to buy has a pool?
You've probably watched your fair share of Trading Spaces, Fixer Upper, or Love It Or List It. And you've probably learned a thing or two or have at least been thoroughly entertained by them.
If you want to find and buy your dream home, you'll have to wait until it hits the market and is advertised on popular mediums like the MLS, right?
Thinking of buying a home in the near future? Keep in mind that there are several things that you should do, and a number of others that you shouldn't.
What's not to love about the vast greenery, meticulously maintained grounds and rolling hills of a golf course?
Condos and homes that are located in an HOA community come with a certain set of perks that you won't find in your traditional home.
Are you beginning to outgrow your home? Is your house not providing enough space for you and your family?
The median price for a home across the US reached a new high this past May, though overall sales were down slightly. Here are some other pertinent stats about the housing market in the US as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Americans can be a very wasteful bunch. It's estimated that we create about 254 million tons of trash and waste about 20% of energy every year.
Every seller hopes for the best when they first put their home on the market. Getting a great offer shortly after listing and selling for top dollar are obvious goals for sellers.
You've successfully sold your home and are ready to pack up all your belongings to haul over to your new abode.
You've lived in your rental unit for a while now, but your lease is coming due. Now's the time to start thinking about whether or not to continue on with your current landlord and remain in the premises, or move onto something else.
Are you in search of a real estate agent to buy or sell? Be sure to "interview" them appropriately to make sure you find one who's best suited for you.
When an offer comes in from a buyer, the first component that sellers will typically look at is the offer price.
If you're planning to sell your home in the near future, you've got a few tasks on your plate, and one of the more important ones is teaming up with a real estate professional.
If you plan to make a home purchase sometime in the near future, one of your first steps should be to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
The following are some highlights of the housing markets across the US, as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Are you finally ready to get into the housing market? If you so, your first time can be pretty exciting yet daunting.
If you're planning to apply for a mortgage to help you finance a home purchase, you could get stuck paying mortgage insurance, depending on the type of home loan you take out and your down payment amount.
City living is ideal for many people, especially those who work in the downtown core or who simply like to be in the center of the action. But living in urban centers is typically expensive, especially when compared to homes located in the outskirts.
If you're planning to sell your home soon and are looking for outdoor projects to undertake in an effort to boost the value of your home, consider the following updates.
If you were selling your home, would you want to be absolutely certain that the buyers are able to secure a mortgage to make the real estate deal go through? Of course, you would, and that's exactly what the purpose of a "proof of funds" letter is.
There are a lot of real estate investors out there looking to make some good money fixing and flipping houses. And if you've been watching your favorite programs on HGTV and the like, you may have noticed that flipping houses for a profit is big business.
Buying a new home can certainly be an overwhelming and sometimes frightening thing, especially if you're completely new to this game.
Here are some stats surrounding the existing home sales activity in March 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Whether you're a newbie buyer or seller or have bought and sold homes a few times over the years, you've most likely heard of the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service.
You pay homeowner's insurance, and although you never want to have to use it, there may be some unfortunate circumstances that may require you to file a claim. Of course, it's important to crunch the numbers to make sure that it makes financial sense to start a claim, considering the fact that there's a deductible to pay and an increase in premiums to deal with.
Paying taxes is never fun, but you may be able to find ways to keep a little extra money in your pocket when filing. If you've recently sold your property, there are several different tax deductions you'll want to be aware of, including the following.
Don't miss the opportunity to have the home you plan to purchase inspected before you finalize a real estate contract. Before you close on a deal, make sure the following components are checked out during the home inspection.
With the typical sale of a property, the new owners usually apply for a mortgage to finance the purchase. When the sale is finalized, the new owners begin paying their new mortgage with the set of terms and interest rate that were agreed upon with their lender. But in some circumstances, a mortgage may be transferred from the sellers to the new owners.
Real estate transactions aren't always free of unpleasant surprises. Sometimes a home inspection will uncover an unknown issue or the buyer won't be able to secure financing despite being pre-approved. But there's another potentially unexpected issue that can arise after an offer has been accepted: property liens.
Buying a home is a big deal, and buyers are highly advised to have representation when they search for a home and negotiate a deal. Having a real estate agent represent you when making this massive purchase is certainly beneficial for many reasons, but the details of this professional relationship should ideally be outlined in a contract, known as a Buyer's Representation Agreement.
What do today's first-time homebuyers look like? The following stats will help paint that picture, as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
A gated community is basically a neighborhood of homes that can only be accessed by residents and their invited guests. Before you decide whether or not a gated community is right for you, consider the following pros and cons first.
The final walk-through of a home is your last chance to make sure all is as it should be before you close on the deal. Here are some tips for conducting the final walk-through of the home you've agreed to purchase.
Getting approved for a mortgage can be pretty challenging these days. Lenders are rather stringent with their lending requirements and aren't in the business of loaning out money to just anyone. Nowadays, you've got to meet strict criteria in order to get approved for a conventional mortgage, and that includes having good credit.
If you're thinking of renovating your kitchen, expanding the living room, or adding a completely new addition to your home, you'll need to apply for a permit before any work begins.
If you're buying or selling a home that still has a mortgage on it, you'll likely be dealing with what's known the lending world as an 'alienation clause'.
No seller ever wants to have to reduce the price of their home, but sometimes it might be a necessary step to sell in a reasonable amount of time.
Does your home still have popcorn ceilings that were popular decades ago? If so, it's probably time for a change. Odds are, you've probably already been thinking about getting rid of your popcorn ceilings but just haven't gotten around to it.
Renting out a property is a great way to bring in supplemental income, whether it's a home, apartment, condo, or other type of real estate. But there are rules that landlords must adhere to in order to comply with the law while enjoying rental income.
A real estate landing page can be a powerful tool to help you generate more leads for your business, but how it's designed makes all the difference. Landing pages are basically any web page that visitors arrive at from another source, such as an advertisement.
Here are some pros and cons of open concepts to determine if it's right for your home and lifestyle.
Property values play a key role in the world of real estate. Buyers are always looking to get a deal on a home, while sellers are always seeking the highest price.
As a buyer, you'd be well-advised to understand certain terms in the real estate world that directly affect buyers. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to familiarize yourself with the following terminology.
When you buy a home, you're also buying the neighborhood. The area you purchase into has a direct impact on the value of your home, both today and into the future.
There are specific advantages to having a home inspection done before listing your home for sale, including the following.
How much notice is appropriate before you allow buyers to show up? Not enough time will leave you with a very tight window to clean up and get out, while too much time can frustrate buyers and even result in a lost lead.
Owning a condo is an attractive option for buyers for many reasons: it's more affordable and easier to maintain compared to single-family homes. However, those who are unfamiliar with condos might have some misconceptions about owning one.
The moving process is stressful enough; the last thing you need is to wind up dealing with a shady moving company.
Whether you're buying or selling a condo or other type of home governed by a homeowner's association (HOA), there are few extra considerations that need to be made compared to the average freehold home.
If you're planning to sell, you'll want to find out if there are currently any liens on your home. The question is, can you still sell your home if there are any outstanding liens on title?
Unless you've hired a daily cleaning service to come in and tidy up after you, maintaining the cleanliness and organization of your home is your responsibility. But it can be easy to fall behind on keeping up with the clutter that has a tendency to build up in our homes.
If you're planning to buy a home in the near future, you'll want to get the lowest interest rate possible on your mortgage. That's why it's important for you to understand all the factors that impact the rate you're offered.
Terms and amortizations are often the sources of great confusion among buyers, many of whom aren't fully aware of their distinctions. So, what exactly is the difference between a mortgage term versus amortization?
Have you ever thought about why you decorated and furnished your home in a certain way? While you may not realize it, your home's decor says a lot about you.
Whether you're a buyer or seller, knowing what type of market you're currently in will make a big difference in your approach.
If you're buying a home, odds are you'll need to take out a mortgage to finance such a large purchase. But if you're planning to build your own home from scratch, the type of financing you get to cover the cost of construction will differ.
Experts in the real estate field anticipate a healthy year ahead for the housing market. Demand is expected to be strong, new home builders are more optimistic, and a slight alleviation in the inventory shortage is anticipated. Here are some predictions for the US housing market as we head into 2018.
How can you identify whether or not you're really getting a good deal on a home, especially if you're in the middle of a volatile market and prices are changing from one week to the next? Here are some ways to tell.
If you're planning to buy a home in the near future, you'll need some form of down payment to secure a mortgage. One resource you may want to consider is your 401(K) to access the money needed to use for a down payment.
Timeshares have been popular vacation options for many Americans over the years, allowing them to essentially "own" their vacation properties without outright buying real estate. But as beneficial as timeshares may be, they also come with a set of drawbacks that need to be carefully contemplated. Here are some pros and cons of owning a timeshare that should be taken into consideration before you buy.
When it comes to the world of real estate marketing, technology plays a key role. More and more people are going online to search for their homes, while real estate agents are taking notice and are increasingly using the internet to market their listings and services. Here are some interesting stats surrounding real estate marketing in 2017.
When it comes to small spaces, there's only so much you can do to define separate areas and create a little privacy. Having all sorts of different rooms and living areas can be really challenging if your home's size doesn't allow for it.
There’s a lot of fluff floating around out there about down payments that are simply untrue. So what’s fact and what's fiction? Here are some of the more common myths about down payments and the truth behind them.
In the months leading up to the housing crisis a decade ago, option ARM mortgages were pretty popular. That’s because they allowed homeowners to take advantage of flexible payment terms, allowing them to better manage their budgets and cash flow. Back then, mortgages were easier to get approved for, even if borrowers weren’t financially capable of handling them.
One of the great things about owning a home is the tax breaks that typically come with it. The tax code allows homeowners to deduct a number of items come tax time, putting more money back in their pocket after dishing out to keep their properties operational.
It’s a well-known fact that plants need the energy from sunlight to grow. But that doesn’t mean that all plants necessarily need to bask in the light at all hours of the day in order to survive and thrive. In fact, there are plenty of houseplants out there that do extremely well in low-light conditions, making them the perfect choice for darker areas in the house.
Social media is undoubtedly a staple for both businesses and consumers alike. And when it comes to the world of real estate, both real estate professionals and buyers/sellers are increasingly depending on social media channels to ensure a successful deal.
It seems like there’s an app for just about everything. Luckily for homeowners, there are also a bunch of awesome apps that make a home improvement project a lot more streamlined and simplified. They give ideas, provide tips, and even offer detailed information on how to measure and pick the right design and color schemes.
Despite the fact that the prevalence of foreclosures has decreased since the housing crash a decade ago, it still happens quite often. Fortunately, there are ways to curb foreclosure proceedings if you find yourself in default of your mortgage, and one alternative is to work out what's known as a 'deed in lieu of foreclosure'.
Many homebuyers are typically very excited to begin their house hunting journey. But they often wind up booking showings and visiting open houses before they've even had the chance to determine what their financial situation is like and how much they'd realistically be able to afford in a new home.
Since the emergence of the internet, the home search process has transformed significantly from years ago. Technology has been the single biggest influence on the change in how buyers search for their next home to buy.
With Remembrance Day now behind us, it's time to get full-swing into the holiday spirit by hanging decorations, stringing lights, putting up the Christmas tree, and gathering with friends and family near and far. But there's a certain way to conduct yourself over the holidays, particularly as a homeowner.
When it comes to buying a home, financing the purchase is a critical component of the overall transaction. Here are some interesting home financing stats as gathered by the National Association of Realtors' Research Department.
We're officially smack dab in the middle of the fall season and are inching closer and closer to the holidays. While you're busy making your list of ingredients for your holiday dinner and running around picking up gifts for your loved ones, there are plenty of things that need to be done if you're planning to sell during this season.
Houzz is easily the most popular online platform for anything to do with home design and remodeling. Since the site launched back in 2009, it has grown immensely in popularity, as well as in services. Here are some impressive numbers that Houzz manages to keep growing every year.
When buying a home, your offer price shouldn't be the only dollar figure to concern yourself with. There's also the earnest money deposit that you need to seriously consider.
Thanks large in part to the lack of housing inventory in California, home prices have skyrocketed over the years. This puts home sellers in a great position to realize huge profits, especially if they've held onto their properties for a few years and allowed appreciated to boost value.
Everyone's heard of Houzz and Pinterest, but these sites are a lot more than just a vast collection of online images. They also serve as fabulous resources for homeowners who need a little inspiration and help coming up with a solid plan for their next home improvement project.
What does the average homebuyer in the U.S. look like in 2017? Here are a few stats that will help paint that picture more clearly.
As if you didn't have enough bills to pay, homeowner's insurance just adds to the pile. But just because you're stuck paying this bill doesn't mean you have to spend more than necessary.
Many homeowners throughout the country have built up enough equity in their homes that can be pulled out and used for many of life's major expenses. Yet while there are various ways to get that money out, one popular way is through a cash-out refinance.
When you're buying a new home, the last thing you're probably thinking about is selling it. But not only should you consider how well the home will suit your lifestyle, you should also be thinking about how easy it will be to sell at some point in the future and what its potential value will be.
When you take out a mortgage, you'll be paying an interest portion on each monthly payment in addition to contributing to the principal. The mortgage rate that you're quoted makes a big difference in the overall cost of your mortgage.
As a real estate investor, you're likely already aware of the tax implications of selling investment properties and the profits made from such transactions. Normally when an investment property is sold for more than what was paid for it, capital gains tax needs to be paid on the profit. This can take a huge chunk off of your bottom line, but there's this little thing called a 1031 exchange that can help keep some of that money back in your pocket.
The selling process can definitely be intense and even overwhelming at times. After all, we're talking about a massive investment. There are plenty of efforts made to find the right buyer who is qualified and interested in buying your home, but even after you think you've found the right buyer that will see the deal through, there's still a chance that they may back out.
When it comes to obtaining a mortgage for a home purchase, you don't necessarily have to use your everyday bank. Instead, you might be better off comparing mortgage packages with various lenders to see where you can get the best deal.
Buying your first house is a big deal. Considering the magnitude of such a purchase, you want to make sure you've got all your ducks in a row before you take the plunge. Here are a few things every first-time home buyer should do before making that big purchase.
No buyer is going to want to put up a huge sum of money to purchase a home that they don't like, unless they're specifically looking for a fixer-upper. If your goal as a seller is to sell your home as quickly as possible, your best bet is to prep it in such a way that buyers can't help but fall in love with your place. The more attracted buyers are to your home, the more likely they'll be enticed to put in a handsome offer.
After offer acceptance, anything can happen during escrow, and you don't want to be stuck with issues that you didn't agree to adopt. Here are some critical things you should be doing during that extremely important final walk-through.
Everyone needs a getaway every once in a while, and a change of scenery can be just what's needed to refresh and unwind. But sometimes having to book a hotel or chalet can be a bit of a challenge, especially during peak seasons when availability is scarce and prices are through the roof. In cases like these, having your own retreat that you can visit at the drop of a hat can be a lot more convenient.
When it comes to valuing homes, the key is to compare them to other properties that are very similar in a number of ways. Real estate professionals typically look at other homes that are similar in location, style, size, design, and age compared to the subject property in order to get an accurate idea of the home's value. In addition, only homes that have been recently sold should be looked at, as market conditions can fluctuate very quickly.
Pets are much more than just animals - they're part of the family and should enjoy your home just as much as you do. The thing is, pets can be messy, smelly, and can even cause damage to your home. Sometimes they may not even be comfortable or safe in your home if certain adjustments aren't made for your furry friend.
Your agent has a lengthy list of things that they do from the start of a real estate transaction to closing of escrow. Here are just a handful of things that your buyer real estate agent will do for you.
If you're planning on applying for a conventional mortgage, you're going to need a decent credit score before applying. Generally speaking, anything over 620 is needed to get approved for a conventional mortgage, though a lower score is fine for other types of government-backed home loans.
Buying a home typically involves the transfer of title after both buyer and seller agree to the terms of the contract and sign off on the deal. However, there are other ways for buyers to become homeowners, including through a Lease Option or Lease Purchase agreement.
Many purchases that you make come with the option to buy a warranty in the event that the product is damaged, such as small appliances and electronics. This helps cover the cost of repair should they break down so you're not paying out of pocket.
Buying new home construction is much different than buying resale. As such, you might want to prep yourself for the process before taking the plunge on a new build. Here are some key things to know about buying a new construction home from a builder.
Flipping through home design magazines and catching a glimpse of some extravagant bathrooms can easily get you drooling over the possibilities for your own bathroom redesign. But with bathroom renovations easily tipping into the thousands, it can be tricky to revamp this important little space while sticking to your budget.
As a seller, getting an offer on your home is exciting, especially if it comes soon after listing your property for sale. But just because there's an offer on the table doesn't necessarily means it's going to be a good one. Unfortunately, lowball offers happen, more often than sellers would prefer.
Existing home sales and median home prices in California ramped up in June while the lowest housing inventory levels were recorded so far in 2017. Here are some key statistics surrounding sales in the Golden State last month.
Plenty of factors impact the value of a property. From its location, to its size, and everything in between, a home's value is determined by a multitude of components, and bank appraisers will come up with this value according to current market conditions before a sale is made.
Out of all the energy consumption in the U.S., about 40% is used by residential and commercial properties. More specifically, residences rank third highest in energy consumption in the country. Given these stats, what is all this energy going towards in the average American home?
Today's modern kitchen backsplash is no longer limited to the traditional types of materials. These days, the options for backsplashes are seemingly endless and provide a plethora of choices for homeowners to create a truly unique kitchen space.
Regardless of whether or not it's a seller's market, it's always helpful if your home has the features that buyers are looking for. Here are the top 11 characteristics that today's buyers want when shopping for a new home.
Given the prices of homes these days, it's no wonder many homebuyer hopefuls choose to get into the market by purchasing smaller, more modest homes that are on the affordable end of the spectrum. After a few years of building equity and allowing time to appreciate the value of the home, there will be a lot more capital available to put into purchasing a larger, more suitable "forever home."
The entire homebuying process can take a long time. Imagine all the homes you have to look at before you find "the one." Even after you've negotiated a deal and your offer is accepted, there's still the escrow period to have to go through, which can be a lengthy process itself.
Having the flexibility to head over to your very own retreat without having to find availability is fantastic. It's like home away from home, a place that you can set up as you please and outfit with all the things you need when you're away from your primary residence.
The housing market in California picked up some steam in May as existing home sales and median home prices inched up from both the month and year before. Here are some pertinent stats on California's housing market for May 2017, gathered by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
A real estate contract can be confusing for both buyers and sellers, especially for first-timers. Not only is there plenty of jargon that many may not be familiar with, there are also many deadlines stipulated that must be met. Failure for these deadlines to be satisfied can result in a dead deal, which is why it's essential that all necessary parties do their due diligence to meet these milestones.
It goes without saying that a home purchase is a big deal and is probably the biggest investment you'll ever make. If you're a first-time buyer, make sure you avoid these potentially costly mistakes.
When it comes to buying a home, you've got options; namely, should you buy new construction, or an older home?
As the temperature continues to rise as we head deeper into summer, the energy - and money - needed to keep our homes cool can skyrocket.
When it comes to buying a home, a mortgage is almost always a part of the process. But as common as they are, mortgages can often be highly confusing. That said, it's in your best interests to become familiar with the mortgage process, regardless of whether you're a first-time buyer or have bought and sold many times in the past.
Selling a cookie-cutter house can be a challenge because you've got to go the extra mile to make it unique enough to stand out from the rest. But what about when your home is so unique and quirky that buyers find it downright strange?
There are obviously plenty of questions that you should ask sellers before you even put in an offer on a home. This will help ensure that you're making a sound buying decision. After all, this is a huge investment that should only be done with due diligence.
Real estate professionals will always advise their buyer clients to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Why? For a few reasons.
The majority of residential real estate contracts typically come with a contingency that allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before the deal is sealed. Buyers usually pay for this service themselves, while sellers simply allow them to book a few hours to inspect the home from top to bottom. So, if the buyer is arranging - and paying for - a home inspection, why should you as a seller pay to have your own pre-inspection done?
Often, sellers will have to put in a little elbow grease and invest time and money order an effort to make the home look more attractive and "move-in ready" for buyers. A home that doesn't show well is more likely to turn buyers off and send them in the direction of another listed home in the neighborhood.
If you're planning to sell your home some time soon, knowing its current market value is extremely important in order to price your home right. Of course, many sellers tend to believe that their homes are worth a lot more than what they really are. But it's not wise to establish a listing price based solely on what you might think your property is worth.
A swimming pool is not exactly a foreign feature among homes. In fact, if you're looking to buy a home, the odds of finding one with a pool are pretty high, especially further south. And just like any other component in a home, they're subject to break down over time.
The odds of your most fragile belongings suffering damage during a big move are pretty high if the necessary precautions aren't taken into consideration. It's vital that you take the time to properly package and label your delicate items in order to make sure that they arrive to their final destination in one piece.
Planning on selling? Here are some quick tips to staging your home that will attract the masses of buyers.
Appraisals are almost always a part of a real estate transaction, but many buyers and sellers often have misconceptions about what they are and how they're carried out. Even those who have some experience buying and selling in the past may still be misinformed about appraisals.
When you're in search of the perfect home, you'll likely be visiting several different properties before settling on the right one. But when viewing so many different houses, it's easy to forget all the details of each one. This is a big purchase, so you want to make sure you've got a clear idea of the home you plan to put an offer on.
Before your lender approves your home loan, the property you agreed to purchase will need to be appraised first. Your lender will want to get an objective and professional assessment of the home's actual market value before matching that price with a home loan.
If you’ve bought a new home that closes before your current home does, you may be stuck with the responsibility of paying for two homes for a brief period of time. As daunting as that might sound, you may be able to arrange for a bridge loan to help alleviate this financial burden.
Having the only home on the block that's up for sale means less competition for you. But what happens when one or more of the neighbors decide to follow suit and plant their own For Sale signs on their front lawns? How can you compete to make sure your home stands out from the crowd?
The prospect of buying a home is an exciting one, but a rejected mortgage application can put a damper on things. Instead of wallowing in despair, look at this situation as a learning experience. Find out why you were denied a mortgage, then take the steps required to make the necessary changes.
If adding some livable space in your home in on your agenda, then transforming your attic into a usable area may be just the ticket. Rather than going through the trouble of building a completely new addition to your home, converting your attic will likely take a lot less work.
Buying a house is not the time to be making mistakes. It's likely the biggest financial investment you'll ever make, so you want to be sure to get it right. If you're in the middle of a hot seller's market, steer clear of making any one of the following buyer blunders.
Moving isn't exactly fun or easy, but this is even more true when you've got young children to contend with. It can be tough to have to deal with packing, purging, organizing, and all the other tasks that come with a big move while trying to entertain your kids and keep them out of everything you're trying to haul out.
You’ve found your dream come, but also found out that the price is well over what you can afford and are willing to spend on a new home. Should you give up on that home?
As a seller, the first thing your should understand is that the price point you list your home at will determine how successful your sale will be.
Out of all the purchases you ever make in your life, a home is likely the biggest. Take the time to consider the following in order to ensure you’re making a sound buying decision.
When homeowners make improvements on their homes, it’s in their best interests to choose upgrades that will bring them the biggest ROI come sale time. Traditionally, a new coat of paint, a kitchen reface, and new hardwood flooring have been the frontrunners in this department.
You might have a beautiful home, but adding landscaping to its exterior can dramatically improve its esthetics. Not only that, landscaping can significantly boost the value of your home as well.
When it comes to selling your home, impressions matter. Ideally, you want buyers to be impressed with your home's look and functionality when they see its listing photos or attend a showing or open house. Your home should look its absolute best when it’s on the market in order to boost the odds of a quick sale at a decent sale price.
In the majority of cases, real estate closings happen on time as per the scheduled date. However, there are times when such closings may be delayed for any number of reasons.
When Uncle Sam comes knocking on your door, it can be pretty painful to have to part with some of your hard-earned money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep some of that money in your pocket instead of handing it over to the IRS (the legal way), and your home can provide you with plenty of tax incentives. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t take full advantage of all of the tax incentives that come with owning property.
You’ve probably heard of the titles “real estate agent,” “broker,” or "REALTOR®.” Aren’t they all just different words meaning the same thing? Actually, no. While each of these titles pertain to professionals in the real estate industry, there are subtle differences between them that you might be interested in understanding before you hire one to represent you in a purchase or sale.
Nothing beats natural light. A dark and dingy room can easily be light-filled by installing a skylight, if the space permits. Skylights offer a unique way to introduce more natural light into a home and bring the outdoors in. In fact, they can let in over three times as much natural light compared to conventional vertical windows of the same size, and distribute it more evenly.
The real estate market in California started off strong this year with higher sales from December. Sales increases in January were likely the result of an increase in interest rates since the Presidential election, prompting buyers to get into the market before rates climb even higher.
It’s not uncommon for real estate contracts to include prorations for both buyers and sellers. Prorations exist to reasonably divide any expenses related to the property, including property taxes, HOA dues, mortgage interest, utilities, and so forth so that both parties are not stuck paying for more than their fair portion.
There are a number of ways to build wealth and earn a sizeable income by investing in real estate. Investors have long been profiting from real estate investments, whether it’s from fixing and flipping, buying and holding, renting, and so forth.
Relocating can be stressful, especially when you consider the idea that total strangers are handling many of your delicate, valuable belongings. While movers are professionals in their particular trade and are well skilled and experienced in transporting goods during moves, anything can happen.
Your mortgage broker will ask you a number of questions when you’re applying for a home loan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask a few questions of your own. Buying a home is a huge decision, and the type of mortgage package that you opt for is just as important.
Solar panel systems can offer a great way to scale back your utility bills while helping the environment at the same time. But their upfront costs can be pretty pricey: a typical four-kilowatt system for an average-size home in California can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $35,000. However, there are some rebates that you might be eligible for that can offset these costs.
The issue of what constitutes a ‘fixture’ in a home and what doesn’t has been the source of many conflicts in real estate. What the buyer might believe is a fixture and should come with the house might not be considered a fixture by the seller.
Whether your home doesn’t suit your needs or tastes anymore or you’re thinking of revamping it to get a better dollar when you sell, there are dozens of upgrades that you can make to your home to improve it. The question is, which upgrades are worth the money spent, and which ones are money pits that won’t allow you to recoup your investment?
If you’re on the hunt for a new house, you’ve likely been scoping out all sorts of listings online. Out of all the thousands of listings that you come across, you may have stumbled upon one that you can really see yourself living in.
Home inspections are important clauses to include in a purchase agreement. They provide buyers with the opportunity to uncover any potential issues with the property in question before signing on the dotted line.
It’s customary to call a real estate professional to help you when you’re on the prowl for a resale home, but what about if you’re interested in new construction? Isn’t it enough just to deal with the builder to choose a lot, select your home’s layout, and seal the deal? After all, you don’t have to deal with a seller or need a home inspection.
Holding an open house shortly after your home hits the market is a great strategy to attract prospective buyers. Make the most out of your open house by following these tips.
Popcorn ceilings were pretty popular from the 1950s through to the 1980s because they were affordable and made finishing a ceiling easy. But these days, popcorn ceilings - which are typically sprayed-on stucco - are nothing more than an outdated eyesore.
Out of all the questions that clients have when it comes to real estate transactions, how commissions are paid is one of the most common. Who's responsible for paying the commission? How much is it? When and how is it paid?
You’ve likely heard of a mortgage, but are you familiar with something called a “promissory note?” When you take out a home loan, not only will you need to sign a mortgage, you will also need to sign a document known as a promissory note. The question is, what exactly is this? Isn’t it really the same thing as a mortgage?
If you’ve decided to buy a home in a planned community that’s governed by a homeowners' association (HOA), then you're probably already familiar with the fact that there are certain rules that need to be followed in order to live there.
When it comes to interior decorating and home staging, it all comes down to who you're trying to impress: yourself (the current homeowner) or the buyer (the future homeowner). When you’ve got your home on the market for sale, you need to create a space that speaks to the tastes, needs, and wants of prospective buyers that will be looking at it.
Whether you can’t stand cleaning your home or just don’t have the time to dedicate to it, there are professional house cleaning services available that can take the load off and handle the dirty task for you. Not only does it save you time, it can also save you a lot of headaches, too.
Not every space in your home is counted towards the overall square footage. From an appraisal perspective, there are certain areas that are ignored when calculating the overall size of the home.
If you’ve been planning to buy a home any time soon, 2017 just might be the perfect year to do it. There are plenty of reasons why buying a home should be on your checklist this year, including the following.
Living in the suburbs offers plenty of benefits to homeowners, including more space, newer home features, and access to family-friendly amenities. But there are also some downsides, including the fact that many of the homes in these communities look almost identical to each other inside and out.
When you decide to sell your home, you need to get the process started off on the right foot, and that begins with determining the right price for your home. Many sellers have a tendency to want to list their home well over what the market deems to be a fair price because they see more value in it than what buyers might see in it.
2017 is here, and what better way to start the new year than to revamp your home’s interior. Whether subtle in nature or an all-out overhaul, there are plenty of fabulous new interior design trends on the horizon that you might want to consider implementing into your home.
Buying a home is a big deal, and is typically an involved process, especially during the time between offer acceptance and the actual closing. “Escrow” is basically when a neutral third party holds on your earnest deposit until all contingencies are met in a real estate transaction.
Finding the right house and negotiating an offer can be pretty labor-intensive and even stressful. Throw in problems with closing into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a bonafide headache. In a perfect world, a deal would close without a hitch.
Regardless of how long you’ve lived in your first home, selling for the very first time can be a daunting task if it's not done right. While there are certain factors that you can’t do much about - such as the current market conditions and your location - there are plenty of other components to the selling process that you have total control over, which can significantly impact the end result.
Even the slightest bit of condensation built up in your home’s crawlspace can wreak havoc on your enter home. Water that’s allowed to sit for extended periods of time can cause a whole slew of problems in your home, including musty smells, efflorescence (crystaline deposits), rotting material, mold, and a cracked foundation.
When you're renting your home, your landlord doesn’t need to know what brand your television is, what you stock your fridge with, or who you invite over for dinner; nor does your landlord particularly care.
It’s a terrible feeling that no buyer wants to experience: regretting your decision after agreeing to buy a house. Whether you’re reconsidering the location, the lack of a master ensuite, or the expense related to updating the place, there are plenty of reasons why you might wish you could turn back the hands of time.
Everyone knows what an open house is. Sellers essentially give free reign to prospective buyers to meander through the home for a couple of hours to scope out the property and get a feel for whether or not they might be interested in further pursuing a potential offer.
One of the biggest fears that sellers have is receiving an offer that’s well under the listing price. Homeowners typically have a dollar figure in their minds that they want to sell their properties for, and if an initial offer comes in well under that price, it’s obviously frustrating and even insulting.
Just about everyone has heard of a timeshare, which essentially involves using points to stay at different resort properties for a week or two out of each year.
When it comes mortgages, you’ve got plenty of options, including an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Their competitive interest rates attract plenty of homebuyers, but choosing an adjustable rate mortgage just because of its advertised rate isn't always a good idea if your specific financial situation doesn't call for it.
If you’re looking to change or update the look of your kitchen on a budget, simply changing the face of your cabinets can work wonders. Not only is this a cost-effective option, it can completely alter the look and feel of your kitchen.
It’s a fact: homes that are professionally staged sell faster and for more money than homes that are not. But why is that? What exactly are home stagers doing that can command such a result?
When people think of the Golden State, their thoughts likely head to popular centers, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego. While these are certainly amazing places to dwell, there’s something quite special about the smaller cities in California that offer residents a fantastic lifestyle surrounded by natural beauty, be it the mountains or the coastline.
The housing market in California appears to have cooled off somewhat in September 2016, with dull sales, increasing prices, and a continued squeeze on inventory being the common issues.
One of the fastest growing trends in kitchen designs is hardwood on the floors. Although tile has long been the most popular choice for practicality purposes, more and more homeowners are opting for hardwood instead.
When you’re on the prowl for a new home, you might want to think twice about buying the best house on the block. Sounds counterintuitive, right? What could possibly be wrong with buying an awesome home?
Listing your home at the right price is critical. Pricing too high or too low can keep your home on the market a lot longer than you’d like, and can even leave thousands of dollars on the table.
Living in a condo or a home within a planned community is an attractive option for new homebuyers. They’re affordable, and offer all sorts of amenities to owners, including security gates and guards, swimming pools, and fitness rooms, among others.
If your home has a specific problem that could affect the enjoyment of the new homeowner or even lower the property’s value, you’ll need to disclose it. If you fail to do this and a major problem arises as a result of that particular issue after the buyer purchases and moves into the home, you could find yourself in legal hot water.
They’re the infamous words buyers and sellers will hear at auctions. These platforms have long been used to buy and sell a host of different goods, including real estate. Buyers are hoping to snag a good deal, while sellers are looking to get their properties off their hands in a short amount of time.
Bamboo has become one of the most popular “green” and environmentally-friendly materials used in many aspects of home construction and decor. This sustainable material is not only durable, it’s also attractive, and can be taken outdoors and incorporated into a wonderful landscape design.
Single women are claiming the coveted title of homeowner in higher numbers compared to their single male counterparts, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Considering the magnitude of the purchase, buying a home requires a lot more than just scoping out a few listing on the internet, scheduling a couple of showings, and slipping in your offer. You’ll need to take your time on this one, and make sure you tick off a bunch of to-do’s before you dive into a home purchase.
If you’ve got a certain amount of equity built up in your home and want to tap into it, you'd have to either take out a second mortgage, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or sell your home.
It would be nice to be able to trust your contractor’s word when you’re having work done on your home, but a written contract really is the only way to go. Having everything in writing can ensure that every party involved fully and clearly understands what is expected of them. It keeps the job running smoothly and ensures that everyone agrees on what should be done and when.
How sellers handle the home selling process can heavily influence the journey as well as the end result. There are certain things that sellers can do that will speed up the sales process, and then there are other actions that can derail the entire deal.
The prospect of having a brand new interior is exciting. The things about your home that have been irking you can finally be changed and updated. With a little planning and budgeting, your dream home isn’t too far off.
As a buyer, you’re spending big bucks on a home purchase, so you want to make sure you get everything you rightfully deserve. But the line between this and being greedy and unreasonable can sometimes be blurry. Asking for too much can turn sellers off and out you at risk of losing out on the house.
Being handy enough to tackle many issues that tend to creep up when owning a house can certainly save you a lot of money and hassle. But there are plenty of other scenarios when taking the DIY route just doesn’t pay. In fact, it can even wind up costing you money in the long run.
When it comes to homes, styles change and features come more innovative. So it’s pretty unlikely that whatever state your home is in now will be up to snuff in a decade or so. At that point (or probably sooner), you’ll be looking to update the finishes or improve the functionality of your space. The thing is, these kinds of tasks costs money, and budget always rears its ugly head when the need for a big revamp in a home is called for.
Has your home been on the market for a while and hasn’t attracted a serious buyer? There could be any number of reasons for that. In the meantime, you’re wasting time and money carrying the home while the listing continues to become increasingly stale by the day.
When it’s time to move, you may be faced with the decision to either buy or rent. This conundrum isn’t just reserved for young adults moving out of their parents’ homes, but also to empty nesters or professionals who are relocating for a new job opportunity.
Having poor credit isn’t a good thing, but neither is having no credit at all. Getting approved for a mortgage - or any other type of loan, for that matter - is pretty much an impossible feat if the lender has nothing to go on. How will your lender know if you'll be good for the money if you don't have a history of responsible repayment? While you may be avoiding debt like the plague, you’re also failing to build up any sort of credit whatsoever.
Home builders know how to wow potential buyers. When developing brand new subdivision, the home they put on show is loaded from top to bottom with all the bells and whistles. The coveted model home not only helps entice buyers into purchasing a home, but also to dish out more money for upgrades.
Buyers and sellers tend to have a long list of demands when it comes to real estate transactions, and so they should. After all, the buying and selling process can be pretty complex, so anything that can streamline the process would be welcomed. The way real estate agents conduct themselves and handle situations can make a huge difference between a smooth transaction and a frustrating one.
With mortgage interest rates being as low as they have been over the past few years, plenty of homeowners have been jumping on the refinancing bandwagon to slash interest payments on their mortgages.
Every industry - including real estate - can benefit immensely from big data. These massive data sets have long been used in the financial and healthcare industries with great success, providing invaluable information about human behavior and interactions, as well as critical patterns and trends among consumers.
Whether you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments each month, are looking to free up a little more cash to put it towards something else, or want to save money in interest over the life of your loan, there are ways to lower your monthly mortgage payments.
The majority of Americans out there who are buying homes will have to assume a huge debt in the form of a mortgage. Considering the magnitude of this type of loan, you definitely want to make sure you’re making the best decision before you take it on.
You can gain serious value in a home if you buy a fixer-upper and renovate it yourself. But like any other type of investment, you’ve got to make sure the numbers add up first.
There’s no one easy equation to use to determine exactly how much a home renovation will cost. You can’t just multiply a specific unit price and multiply it by the square footage of the area you plan to remodel.
Summer is typically a time for holidays, backyard BBQ’s, pool time, and just lounging on your deck. But it’s also a time when the bugs like to come out and play, at the expense of your outdoor enjoyment. If all you’re doing is swatting and shooing, it's time to do something about the problem.
No matter which side of the real estate coin you happen to be on, it’s worth it to have a licensed real estate agent represent you. Buying and selling come with their own set of challenges, which can leave you vulnerable to liability should you make the wrong move. A realtor will make sure you’re protected at all times.
Keeping your home in pristine condition while it’s on the market is one of the biggest challenges that most sellers face. It can be tough to continue to live your daily lives while trying to make your home look like nobody’s been living in it.
Buying a house is an expensive endeavor, obviously. But when it comes to big a completely new home from a builder, there are plenty more costs that you’ll be responsible for that you wouldn’t necessarily have to cover with a resale.
Your home may have reflected your style a few years back - but today, not so much. Now you suddenly realize that your puffy sofa looks crammed in your living space, or that flower-ridden wallpaper looks a tad on the tacky side.
If you’re like many other property owners, you likely cringe when you get your property tax assessment in the mail. But as annoying as it may be to have to open your wallet to pay these pesky taxes, they do actually serve an important purpose.
When it comes to your landscaping, you want to be able to spend more time enjoying it and less time slaving over it. But it all comes down to careful planning and designing, and what you choose to include in your garden.
Baby boomers who are approaching or have already entered their retirement years have traditionally been known to downsize. Not having as much property to take care of and minimizing the number of stairs that have to be climbed are generally the traits that tend to change once the Golden Years arrive.
If your home has been sitting on the market for a while with no bites, you might want to figure out what the problem is. The longer your home is listed without any offers, the more frustrating and costly it’ll be.
Who doesn’t love a bright, light-filled space to call home? Not only does natural light open up a space and make it seem larger, it’s also good for the mood. If it feels as though you live in a dungeon, it’s time to let some natural light in.
Building codes might seem like a nuisance for homeowners, but they’re there for a reason: safety. Many homeowners might not be aware of the building codes they need to follow, which not only puts them at risk for paying fines, but also makes them vulnerable to injury and even death.
If you’re planning on purchasing a high-priced home and leveraging the majority of the money to pay for it, you’ll likely need a jumbo mortgage. Almost 90% of mortgages are backed by either one of two major government-sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Part of the remaining 10% are considered jumbo mortgages, a home loan option for expensive homes that approach the $1 million mark and beyond.
Bad credit. Insufficient income. Inadequate down payment. These reasons - and many more - can stand in the way of getting approved for a conventional home loan. Many would-be homeowners often turn to others as co-signers in order to get approved for the mortgage they so desire.
It’s a no-brainer: there are very few instances where you wouldn’t insert a home inspection clause in a contract to purchase a home. A property may look flawless on the surface, but you just never know what’s lurking in the attic or in the electrical panel. The best way to protect yourself from a potential money pit is to hire a home inspector to take an in-depth look at the property in question before you seal the deal.
Just because you’ve locked into a fixed-rate mortgage doesn’t mean your mortgage payments won’t change some time in the future. This can come as an unpleasant surprise, especially when you’re trying to manage a budget. If you’ve allocated a specific chunk of your income to your mortgage, your budget can be thrown for a loop when these payments increase.
One of the tell-tale factors of a fast-moving market is the amount of time that listings spend on the market. The number of property sales also speaks volumes about the activity in the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), over 6 million homes were sold in 2016, the first time this has happened in a decade.
You’ve probably heard the term “capital gains” float around when it comes to selling real estate, by do you know what it really means? More specifically, are you familiar with the taxes that may have to be paid on these gains, and how they can affect how much money you wind up with?
The current presidential election is definitely an interesting one, capturing the attention of not just Americans, but people across the globe. We’re still quite a ways away from November when the 58th Presidential Election Day takes place on the 8th, which means things are only going to get even more heated.
Vacant foreclosure properties - dubbed ‘zombie foreclosures’ - are on the decline. According to the second quarter 2016 US Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report, there are just over 19,000 properties that are in the zombie foreclosure process, a drop of 3.1% from April and a 30.1% plummet from the same time last year. These properties represent 4.7% of all foreclosures.
The first thing prospective buyers will see before they visit your home is its photos. Most buyers start off their house hunt by browsing online photos of listings. If yours are dark, blurry, or don’t capture your home in its best light, buyers will just move on to the next listing with images that are a lot more pleasing to the eye.
Florida’s real estate market ended off with a bang on 2015, with higher median prices and fewer days on the market reported by the end of December. The Sunshine State experienced a 15% increase in sales prices from the year before, and the trend appears to have continued throughout the first quarter of 2016.
A steady, predictable, and adequate income stream throughout retirement is a must for anyone in their Golden Years who wants to live comfortably long after they’ve said goodbye to their careers. But without a decent pension, considerable savings, or sizeable dividends from investment vehicles, having the pool of income needed to keep up a certain lifestyle after retirement can be downright difficult.
Many Americans are loving their organic food, but are they willing to pay a premium on their dwellings just for the convenience of living close to their favorite natural food stores? According to recent data, the answer is yes.
Spring has notoriously been prime time for the real estate market, and in certain centers, it’s been a particularly heated one for a while now. With an improvement in the labor market over recent months already playing its part in driving the housing market, experts believe many other trends will add fuel to the fire.
One minute your little one is depending on you to flip her on her belly, and the next minute she’s crawling out of her crib. Babies can quickly become mobile in the blink of an eye, so it’s best to be prepared before they let their curiosity compromise their safety.
Just because your name is on title of the new home you’ve purchased doesn’t necessarily mean that no one else has any legal right to a portion of your lot. It’s called an easement, and it can give your neighbors and other entities a right to access a certain part of your land in some circumstances.
It’s no secret that living close to certain neighborhood features can either boost or drag down the value of your home. After all, real estate is all about location. But you might be surprised at just how much certain traits affect property values, whether positively or negatively.
The truth is, there’s a lot that you can learn from the sale of homes on the block. Regardless of where you live and the market in your area, similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood can provide you with a wealth of information that can come in really handy when you list your home for sale.
Saving up for retirement is something that everyone should start working towards the moment they enter the workforce. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Life can throw curveballs at us, from unexpected medical emergencies to a sudden job loss. And with so many baby boomers reaching retirement age over the recent past and into the foreseeable future, there’s great concern that many of them won’t be able to live comfortably throughout retirement, or even meet basic needs.
The mortgage process is a potentially complicated one. During the underwriting process, a number of obstacles can get in the way of your approval. And considering the huge commitment, it’s crucial that you make sure the mortgage you get into is one you can live comfortably with.
When you’ve got your home listed for sale, you want to draw as much attention to it as possible. Since these small descriptions are only a few characters long, you’ve got to make the most of the words you use.
People always learn a thing or two after having been through the process of selling a home, and those who’ve been through this rodeo once or twice probably admit that they would have done something a little different the first time around. For those who are selling their homes for the first time, it can seem like a daunting task. From getting the place ready for showings, to finding the right buyer, to negotiating a good deal, the whole process is more involved than you might think. But with the help of an experienced real estate agent - and a few pointers - selling your home shouldn’t have to be a headache.
Whether you need to pay for your child’s college education, a major home renovation, or an emergency medical expense, scraping the necessary funds together can be tough, but necessary. But if you currently own a home that you’ve been regularly putting money into via mortgage payments, you just might be able to tap into your home’s equity as a source to fund these major expenses.
Even with a down payment as low as 3.5%, it can seem nearly impossible to scrape together thousands of dollars to put words a home purchase. It’s usually the down payment that stands in the way of many homebuyer-hopefuls’ dreams of being able to secure a mortgage. And when you factor in rent, credit card payments, student loans, and living expenses, saving up for a down payment can be even more of a challenge.
Condos and homes in planned communities are pretty popular these days. But buying a piece of property in a homeowners’ association (HOA) is slightly different than purchasing a conventional home. In addition to buying the actual unit that you occupy, you’re essentially buying into the community or building that your particular unit is located in.
Homeowners across the country have been able to take advantage of super-low interest rates on their mortgages for the past few years, which has certainly helped to make home purchases more affordable.
A home purchase is not like buying a dishwasher - you can't just “return” it if things don’t pan out the way you planned a few weeks down the road. Once you’ve sealed the deal, you’re stuck. And while this is usually a good thing when you find the right home, it’s important to place a few contingencies in the contract before you agree to take over ownership and commit yourself to a mortgage.
After the financial crisis hit the nation back in 2008, hundreds of thousands of families lost their homes to foreclosure. In fact, foreclosure filings skyrocketed over 81% that year compared to the year before. Getting approved for a mortgage is tough enough these days for any borrower, but it can be a lot more challenging with a foreclosure on the record.
Not only is there a serious lack of inventory in many parts of the US, there’s also a housing affordability issue at play. And depending on where you live, both of these matters combined spell trouble for the average American who is looking to get into the real estate market but can’t find the right property at the right price. How much do foreign investors have to do with this scenario?
Picture yourself living in a 300 square-foot minuscule apartment, and paying the same rent price as you would for a place three times the size. That’s exactly what an increasing number of renters are doing these days just to be able to claim zip code in some of the country’s most expensive places to live.
If you thought finding the perfect home was the hard part of the home buying process, what until you actually have to go from offer acceptance to closing. A bunch of steps need to be taken in proper succession order to take you through escrow, one of which is a home appraisal.
Real estate agents will often recommend that their clients get pre-approved for a mortgage before embarking on a home search. It gives buyers a better idea of how much they can comfortably afford, and gives sellers the peace of mind knowing that there’s a good chance that the buyers will be capable of obtaining financing for a streamlined deal.
After the financial crisis hit the US back in 2008, FHA loans suddenly became pretty popular among borrowers who found it tough to secure a conventional mortgage. Before that, FHA loans were typically an option reserved mainly for low-income homebuyers.
After pounding the pavement in search of the perfect home, you finally find one. An offer is put in and accepted, and all closing processes and costs are taken care of. You move in and begin life in your new home - what could possibly go wrong? That depends on whether or not you opted for title insurance. When you buy a home, you’re given title to the property. It’s this title that provides you - the new owner - with the right to possess and use the home and the land that it’s on.
All-cash sales have surged across the country, and Bay Area cities are realizing some of the biggest spikes.
Millennials get all the press these days, but Baby Boomers still have a larger impact on the real estate market than any other demographic. This excellent infographic sheds light on this generation’s ongoing influence over the housing market.