Posted by Peggy Farber on 11/1/2017

As a first-time homebuyer, it is important to understand what it takes to discover your dream residence as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

What does it take for a first-time homebuyer to seamlessly navigate the housing market? Here are three tips that every first-time homebuyer needs to know.

1. Make a Homebuying Checklist

The definition of the "perfect" house differs from homebuyer to homebuyer. As such, a first-time homebuyer should allocate the necessary time and resources to determine what he or she wants to find in the ideal home. That way, a first-time homebuyer will have no trouble finding a house that matches or surpasses his or her expectations.

With a homebuying checklist, a first-time homebuyer can move one step closer to making his or her property ownership dreams come true. This checklist can help a homebuyer differentiate between home "must-haves" and "wants" so he or she can narrow a home search accordingly.

Furthermore, a first-time homebuyer can update a property buying checklist as he or she begins to check out houses. And if a homebuyer evaluates available residences, this property buyer can update his or her checklist as needed.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A first-time homebuyer likely wants to purchase a house as quickly as possible. Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help a homebuyer move through the property buying process without delay.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a first-time homebuyer should try to meet with several banks and credit unions. Each meeting will allow a homebuyer to learn about assorted mortgage options and select a mortgage that corresponds to his or her finances.

Moreover, a first-time homebuyer should be unafraid to ask plenty of questions when he or she meets with potential lenders. This will allow a homebuyer to make an informed decision about a mortgage.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying a house for the first time, a homebuyer should seek out expert support. Lucky for you, many real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can make it simple for you to purchase your ideal house.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with buying a house for the first time. He or she will teach a first-time homebuyer about these challenges and ensure this property buyer is prepared to take a diligent approach to purchasing a home.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and negotiate with home sellers on a homebuyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even keep a homebuyer up to date about new houses, ensuring homebuyers can pounce on opportunities to acquire great houses as soon as they become available.

For a first-time homebuyer, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But with the aforementioned tips, a first-time homebuyer can accelerate the homebuying process and improve his or her chances of purchasing a stellar house at an affordable price.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 8/2/2017

Taking ownership of an older house could save you thousands of dollars. In fact,ticket prices on houses built during the 1940s are generally half the ticket price on modern homes. Think of buying an older house the way that you approach buying a used car. As with a used car, because the house has experienced wear and tear, you wonít be asked to pay top dollar to move into the home.

Age could provide you significant cost savings

Pick an older home thatís not located in an area thatís overseen by a homeowners association and you could save thousands of dollars a year. Other ways that buying an older house could save you thousands of dollars are in structural maintenance costs.

Houses built around World War II were built to endure hard blasts. Punch a wall in a house that was built during the 1940s and you could break your hand. On the other hand, you could tear a hole in a house built during the 1980s or later if you accidentally jam the end of a broom handle against the wall.

Walls of houses built in the 1940s were made of cement. Modern homes may be constructed with fiberboard or plasterboard panels. Fiberboard and plasterboard are thinner than cement walls. You may have heard a relative or friend refer to the walls as being ďpaper thinĒ.

As a note of caution, get walls of older houses youíre thinking of buying inspected. Many walls in houses built during the 1940s were made with asbestos cement. To save money on an older home also ensure that the house is well ventilated.

Making the most out of buying older houses

If you donít, you could buy a house that, although durable, is not well insulated or ventilated.Poor ventilation can cause a house to feel uncomfortably warm during summer months and far too cool when it gets cold outside. Also, make sure that the older house you want to buy has central air conditioning.

Of course,if you spend a lot of time outdoors, central air may not be a priority. To keep your older home cool during summer without turning on central air, close the doors to rooms that you are not using. Place chairs and sofas near windows and vents. And use window air conditioners and efficient floor fans.

You may love the privacy that youíll gain with an older home, as older houses are generally not designed with open floor plans. Each room may have a separate archway or door. Houses in older neighborhoods tend to have a similar floor plan.Depending on when you grew up, you may recall how your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents homesí were laid out the same.

After you get an older house that you want to buy inspected, you can always modernize the home. For example, you could install solar panels in the house. Upgrade the insulation and knock down walls and create an open floor plan to give the home a more spacious look and feel.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 6/21/2017

Making an offer on a home youíd love to buy is arguably the most stressful part of the buying process. Youíll be worrying about making the right offer, whether youíve presented yourself in the best possible light, and just how much competition youíre up against.

Today weíre going to help you alleviate that anxiety by giving you the most common real estate offer mistakes to avoid, and show you how you can increase your chances of getting the perfect home for you.

1. Do your research on the house

You have a lot of research to do before making an offer on a home. Youíll want to know the price the home formerly sold for and improvements that have been made and that will need to be made if you move in.

It also helps to know the sellerís situation. Are they on a deadline and moving out-of-state? If so, they might be tempted to take one of the earlier offers they receive.

2. Know your own financial limits

Before you ever make an offer youíll need to know how much you can spend. This isnít just a matter of offering the maximum amount youíre preapproved for. Youíll have to factor in moving expenses, final payments on your last rent or mortgage, changes in utility costs, and more.

3. Donít offer your full preapproval amount

Sellers who know that youíve offered your maximum preapproval amount may be wary of selling since they know you lack room to negotiate your budget and therefore might have a higher chance of backing out of the offer. They might favor other buyers who have room to negotiate and account for unexpected changes in their budget or of rising interest rates.

4. Avoid aggressive negotiation

We know the stakes are high for everyone involved in making a real estate deal. However, sellers are more likely to accept the offer of someone they trust and like over someone who seems to be trying to gain leverage.

Always be cordial with your offers and support them with numbers--explain to the seller why you chose the number you did, so that they can understand your reasoning.

5. Donít attempt to gain leverage by waiving a home inspection

By law, you are allowed to have a home professionally inspected before purchase. Waiving this right is sometimes misconstrued as a way to tell a seller that you trust them and donít want to cause them any unnecessary headaches.

The reality of the matter is that if you truly do want to own their home, sellers understand that you want to know what youíre buying.

6. This isnít the only house you can be happy in

Hunting for a home is hard work. Once you find one that seems perfect for you or your family, it can seem like everything depends on your offer being accepted.

However, the fact is there are endless houses on the market, and next week a new one could be put up for sale that is even better than the home youíre hoping for now.

If your offer isnít accepted and you donít feel comfortable committing to a higher price, move on to the next house knowing that you made the best decision under the circumstances.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 6/14/2017

Buying a house can be a stressful process, especially when youíve found your dream home and have put in your bid. While itís easy to spend all of your spare time worrying endlessly if your bid will be accepted it wonít get you any closer to hearing that ďyesĒ. Here are five things you can do instead of worrying and will help relieve stress instead. Read a book - Immerse yourself in another world by picking up a book. Spend some time browsing the shelves of your local library or bookstore for something that catches your eye. If you arenít normally a reader choose a genre similar to your movie tastes or ask a librarian for a recommendation. Meditate - Iím sure youíve heard it a million times before. Every time the topic of lowering stress come up you are sure to have meditation suggested as a combative tool. But itís so widely recommended for good reason! Science has proven that meditation really does lower stress levels. With its popularity comes a plethora of options for you to experiment with. You can try in-person classes, apps, or CDs. There are even many different ways to meditate so find what works for you and keep practicing. Exercise - Exercise may not be everyoneís favorite past time but it is an excellent way to lower stress. Donít worry this doesnít mean you need a gym membership or to spend hours lugging weights around. Walking, dancing and even vigorously cleaning can all count as exercise if they raise your heart rate. You can even think of it as prep for move in day. Spend time with friends - Gather a group of friends together to catch up over brunch or go out on the town for the night. Either way, you will have a blast spending time with those you care about and lowering your stress levels. Social engagement is an important facet of human life and when you gather a group of friends there is almost a guarantee for some laughter. And yes, laughing really does help you reduce stress! Get outside - Spending time in nature is a guaranteed way to destress with endless possibilities. You can go for a hike, ride a bike, spend time on a boat, at the beach or in your own backyard. You also have the added benefit of the ability to combine this tip with any of those given above. Lay out a blanket to sit on to read or meditate, gather a group of friends for a game of kickball, or go for a run as a group or by yourself. Waiting to hear if your bid on your dream home has been accepted can be a stressful time, but it doesnít have to be. By spending your time engaging in activities that help lower your stress levels you will not only keep yourself from worrying but also do yourself some good too. Whether you choose to snuggle up with a good book or go out on the town with some friends youíll be glad you gave yourself some downtime before move in day!





Posted by Peggy Farber on 2/22/2017

Moving is a big adjustment for any of us, yet it can be hardest on the children in our lives. Moving can mean a new school for your kids and a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. There are a few ways that you can help kids adjust to the change of moving to a new place and help them to feel at home faster. 


Let Them Be Involved With The New House


As a child, it can seem like moving into a new house is all about adults. Kids may feel that theyíre merely along for the ride. You can let the kids pick out some things in the house. What color should their room be? Can the kids give some input on a new piece of furniture? Make moving a family affair and allow everyone in the family to feel included to make the transition smoother. 


Get Enrolled In Local Activities


See what types of local activities are available for the kids (and you) to be enrolled in. From tennis lessons to summer camp to after school activities, thereís plenty of things in a community that you and your family can get involved in. If you can find an activity to participate in with your kids, it will only make it easier for them to feel comfortable meeting other kids. You can also get acquainted with other adults to get some more information and insight about your new community. Making new friends and doing something they love will help your kids to feel right at home. The kids will feel more comfortable i their new school as well if they get involved.  



Help Kids Stay In Touch With Old Friends


Moving isnít all about making new friends. Kids can still keep in touch with their old friends. If you didnít move very far away, schedule dates for your kids to meet up with their old friends. If you have moved across states, encourage your kids to keep in touch with old friends through phone calls and video chat meetings. Theyíll know that someday, theyíll see each other in person again. These actions can help in the transition of moving as well, since kids will see that their old lives have not been completely lost and forgotten about.


Stroll Around The Neighborhood As A Family


One great way to get adjusted to a new neighborhood is to explore it by foot. Make it a point to take an evening stroll as a family. The kids can learn a bit more about the area and begin to feel more comfortable in their surroundings with your help. Youíll also make discoveries about your new surroundings as a family.




Tags: Buying a home   moving tips   kids  
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