Being a smart home buyer is a lot more difficult than you might realize, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. First-time home buyers have no experience with the home-buying process. They may encounter more challenges due to not knowing what to expect.
However, being a smart home buyer is crucial to ensuring you get the home you want without sacrificing your financial stability. With that in mind, the following are four habits of smart home buyers:
1. Maintain a good credit score
One of the most important things you can do as a home buyer is to maintain a good credit score. Your credit score will play a big role in qualifying for a mortgage, not to mention determining the interest rate you’re offered. It’s essential to ensure your score is as high as possible before looking for a new home.
2. Save money before going house hunting
Be patient about becoming a new homeowner. You should save enough money to make a sizable down payment, cover closing costs, and have reserves left in case of a financial emergency. The bigger your down payment is, the less your house will cost you in the long term since you’ll pay less on interest. Additionally, you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance if you can make at least a 20 percent down payment.
3. Budget for the long-term
Just because you can afford the monthly mortgage payment doesn’t mean you should max out your budget. You need to consider other expenses associated with homeownership, such as property taxes, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. By budgeting for these additional costs, you can ensure you’re still comfortable with your mortgage payment after everything is said and done.
4. Make sure your personal life is in order
Make sure that you’re employed full-time, have a good handle on your finances, and have stability in your personal life before you begin the home-buying journey. If you’re in the middle of big life events, such as getting married, starting a family, or beginning a new job, you might want to wait until things settle down before buying a home.
These are just a few habits you should adopt if you want to be a smart home buyer. By doing so, you can be sure you’re prepared for the challenges of the home-buying process. For more advice on being smart home buyers, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
If you decide to sell your house, you’ll want to do everything you can to maximize your profits. However, to get as much as you can out of your house, you’ll have to do a little more on top of simply listing it and hoping you find a buyer willing to give you what you’re asking.
With that in mind, the following are four tips on selling your home for more money:
1. Price your house correctly
The most important factor in getting top dollar for your home is pricing it correctly from the start. One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is pricing their homes too high, thinking they’ll be able to come down later if nobody bites. However, overpricing your house can scare potential buyers away. And the longer your home sits on the market, the more difficult it will become to sell.
2. Make necessary repairs and updates
If any major repairs or updates need to be made to your home, it’s best to do them before putting your house on the market. Not only will this make your home more appealing to potential buyers, but it will also increase its value. If you’re unsure what repairs or updates need to be made, a home inspector can give you a detailed report.
3. ‘Time’ the real estate market
If you put your house up for sale during a buyer’s market, it will likely take longer to sell because there will be fewer buyers, and you’ll probably have to lower your asking price. However, if you list during a seller’s market, you’ll likely have more buyers interested in your home and you might get away with a higher asking price. Competition may even result in a bidding war. Pay attention to your area’s market conditions to help determine the best time to list your home.
4. List your property at the right time
Besides timing the market, try to list your market during the peak season, either in the spring or summer. This is when more buyers are looking for homes than at any other time of year, so you’ll have a better chance of selling quickly and for top dollar.
These are four tips you should keep in mind to help ensure you get the most money possible from selling your home. Contact us at Randy Lindsay today for more tips on selling your home.
When you buy a house, you’ll want to insure it. If you take out a mortgage to pay for your home, the lender will likely require you to buy homeowners insurance as part of the agreement.
Even if it isn’t required, getting your home insured against damage or loss is a good idea. But what many homeowners don’t realize is that their insurance policy may not cover everything they think it does.
It’s important to understand what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers so you’re not caught off guard if something happens to your home. Knowing what it doesn’t cover will allow you to purchase additional coverage if necessary. With that in mind, the following are four things that your home insurance policy probably won’t cover:
Standard home insurance policies exclude coverage for flood damage, so if your home is inundated with water from a storm or other flooding event, you will likely have to foot the bill for repairs and replacements yourself. If you live in an area prone to flooding, purchasing separate flood insurance is a good idea.
2. Earthquake damage
Homeowners insurance also typically excludes coverage for earthquake damage. If an earthquake hits and your home sustains damage, you will likely have to pay for repairs and replacements out of pocket. If you live in an area that’s susceptible to earthquakes, you may want to purchase separate earthquake insurance.
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in homes and other buildings. It can cause property damage and pose health risks. Mold typically develops and spreads from moisture, so it’s often found in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and basements. Because mold growth is so common, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for mold damage.
4. Pest infestations
Pests like rodents and insects can damage your home and pose health risks. If your home becomes infested with pests, you will likely have to pay for pest control. You might not be bothered about paying for pest control; however, some pests, such as termites, can cause significant damage to your home.
A standard homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage against things like fire, wind, and snow damage, as well as vandalism, theft, and personal liability. However, it’s important to know what it doesn’t cover so you can plan accordingly. Contact us at Randy Lindsay today for more advice about the home-buying process.
When you’re buying a home, closing day is when the sale becomes official. It’s when the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. For homebuyers, there’s nothing quite as exciting (and nerve-wracking) as closing day. What few buyers don’t realize is the closing involves much more than just signing on the dotted line.
Here’s a look at what you can expect on closing day:
- Pay the down payment: If you’re taking out a mortgage, then you’ll need to have the down payment available on closing day. The amount of the down payment will depend on the type of loan you’re getting and the purchase price of the home.
- Pay additional fees: When you buy a home, there are fees that must be paid in order to finalize the sale. These include the loan origination fee, the appraiser’s fee, the title insurance policy, and more. You’ll need to have the funds for these fees available on closing day in the form of a cashier’s or personal check.
- Provide proof of insurance: Before lenders will release the funds for the loan, they want to see proof that you have homeowners insurance in place. This is to protect their investment in case something happens to the property.
- Provide identification: You’ll need to show a form of identification, such as a driver’s license, on closing day. This is required to sign the loan documents.
- Sign documents: You’ll sign a lot of paperwork, including the mortgage note, the deed of trust (or mortgage), and other documents related to the loan. You’ll also sign all of the closing disclosure documents, which detail the final terms of the loan and the costs associated with it. Finally, you will sign the transfer of the deed, which officially transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.
- Receive the keys: Once the closing is complete and all the paperwork has been signed, the seller will hand over the keys to the property.
There’s a lot to do on the day of closing, but if you’re prepared for it, the process should go smoothly. It’s important you work with an experienced real estate agent and loan officer. They can guide you through the entire process of buying a property. For more information on buying a home, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.
Selling your home is challenging! And if your home is on the smaller side, homebuyers might think twice about whether it will address all their needs. Even if it does, if your home feels small and cramped, it won’t attract a lot of buyers.
There are ways you can make your small home feel bigger and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Try these tips on how to make a small house feel bigger:
1. Use light colors when painting your walls
Light colors make a room feel more open and airier, which can give the illusion of more space. In contrast, dark colors often make a space feel smaller and more cramped than it is. If you don’t want to paint the entire home, paint an accent wall in a light color to make a statement and open up the space.
2. Let in natural light
Natural light is one of the best ways to make a small room feel bigger. If your home doesn’t have a lot of windows, consider installing skylights or solar tubes to brighten things. You can also use mirrors to reflect light and make the space feel more open.
3. Keep the clutter to a minimum
One of the quickest ways to make a small space feel cramped is to have too much stuff. Go through your belongings and get rid of anything that you don’t need or use. This will not only create space, but it will also make your home feel less cluttered.
4. Use multipurpose furniture
Furniture that serves more than one purpose is ideal for small homes. For example, ottomans with storage can be used as a coffee table or extra seating, while a Murphy bed can be folded up into the wall when not in use. Look for furniture that is both functional and stylish to make the most of your space.
5. Hang curtains high
Hanging curtains closer to the ceiling will make your windows look taller and your ceilings appear higher. This simple trick can give the illusion of more space and make your small home feel bigger.
Making your small home feel bigger doesn’t have to be difficult. By using these tips, you can create the illusion of more space. If you’re selling your home, making your small house feel bigger can attract more interested buyers. For advice on selling a house, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.