Setting a budget for your home purchase is an important decision. You need to know how much you can afford each month and translate that into the amount you can afford to take out on your new mortgage. When you start house hunting with that budget in mind, you may find to your dismay that you are not seeing many homes in the price range you have set that match your needs. There are three choices you have in this situation. The first is to wait it out, keep looking, and hope the house you want comes up on the market in your price range. The second is to compromise and buy a house that is affordable but not really what you want. The final choice is to look at raising your home buying budget. How Much Will It Really Cost? The first thing to consider when you are looking at raising your maximum purchase prices is what difference it will make in your actual monthly payment. In many cases, the difference may not be as difficult to handle as you might think. Pull out that mortgage calculator and figure out what it would cost you per month to go […]
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Whether it’s the character and charm of an older home with its original features, hardwood floors, and wood burning fireplace, or the quaint historic feel of the neighborhood in which it is found, there is a certain appeal to older property. But purchasing an older home may involve additional work and costs that a newer home may not. With a little research and preparation, however, you may find that purchasing an older property may be the right decision for you. Here are a few things to consider before making an offer on an older home. Age Of The Home Depending on where you live, an older home can mean 30 years to 300 years. Naturally, this is the first point to consider when deciding whether an older home is right for you. The age of the home, the foundation, and the roof can make a big difference in the type of maintenance it will require, how frequently things may need to be replaced, and the difficulty and expense of replacing them. You will also want to know what kinds of materials were used in the construction of the home. Age Of The Features Older homes can sometimes have very old […]
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When you’re ready to head out and look at those potential future homes, there are a few things you can bring along to make the experience more helpful as well as more efficient. Packing a small house-hunting bag with these items will make sure that you make an informed decision and don’t forget the details of each home. A Pad And Paper This is useful for jotting down notes about each home, including things you liked and things you didn’t, and repairs that might be needed. Simply write the address at the top, and then as you look at the property write down your thoughts and observations. Many people come home after looking at a few houses and can’t recall which one had the rosebushes out front or which one needed a new water heater. The notes will make it easy to remember these details and keep track of which houses are your best bets. A Camera Sometimes a picture is even better than a note. Taking a few pictures of the home as you go through it (as long as the current residents don’t mind) can really help in making the decision later. Be sure to ask if photographing […]
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When it comes to buying a house, timing can make a big difference on several levels. The time of year when you start searching can impact things like house prices, available inventory, and competition for that inventory. There are also personal factors to consider to make your move at a good time for you. The Spring Rush Many people will tell you spring is the best time to buy, because it’s when the market picks up and the inventory improves. It’s true that spring does tend to bring much more selection to the market, as many people prefer to move in pleasant weather, and families with children look to time a move in between school years. However, the rush to buy in the spring months can increase competition and raise prices. There are more homes to choose from, but also more buyers looking at those houses, which can result in bidding wars and the frustration of houses selling fast. That means spring isn’t necessarily the best time to get in the buying market, particularly if you want to get the best price. When Prices Are Lowest The real estate market slows in the late fall and through the holidays, as […]
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If you are buying a new home on a tight budget, one of the options that will come to your attention is purchasing a condominium or townhome instead of a standard single family home. Because most of them share walls, condos and townhomes are more affordable. But before you consider moving into a multi-family complex, consider both the down and the up sides to such a purchase. The Difference Between A Condo And A Townhome New buyers may be confused as to the difference between a condo and a townhome. Both are attached homes, where at least one wall is shared between two units. One difference between them is that a townhome does not have any units above or below, only on the sides. Townhomes are usually at least two stories, sometimes three stories. Condos on the other hand are often single story—although not always—and may have units both above and below as in an apartment building. But the truly important distinction between the two is in the ownership rights of the buyer. Condo owners have rights that extend only to the walls of the unit, while townhomes usually have rights to the land as well. This can become a […]
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Open houses are a great way to check out what’s for sale, and also a chance to interact with the seller’s agent, which you likely won’t get to do at a private showing. That interaction can get you more information than you could obtain from the listing—and here is what to ask to get that knowledge. Ask About Offers, Asking Price Changes, And Time On The Market Three simple questions can get you a lot of information: Do you have many offers? What price changes have there been? How long has the house been on the market? While the agent might not be totally truthful regarding offers, you may glean from his or her reaction whether a bidding war is anticipated on the property. If there is an offer in, you might be able to get an idea of where you need to come in to put your offer ahead. You can track pricing changes and length of time on the market online, but you won’t be able to discover the reasons why. The agent might divulge that a previous offer fell through, or that something has changed in the seller’s timeline forcing a price drop. Ask About The Seller […]
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