Posted by Peggy Farber on 12/14/2016

If you are really serious about buying a home, you need to get preapproved. This shows the sellers that you are ready and willing to take the next step and that you are not just out there “kicking tires”. The process to get preapproved is lengthy and starts at a lenders facility. Your friends or relatives may have suggestions as to which lender is their favorite. Word of mouth is always a good way to find a lender. Once you make the decision and chose a lender, you will be asked to complete a mortgage application. In addition to the application, you will need to provide various financial documents. The lender will do a thorough investigation of your financial history. Once the lender completes this process, you will be told exactly how much the lender is willing to loan you and at what interest rate. This number ensures you are shopping in the right price range. Being preapproved also allows you to move quickly when the time comes to make an offer. If the home is something you really want to purchase, you will not have to scramble for financing as you will be preapproved and ready to go.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 12/7/2016

Buying a home should be simple. Unfortunately, purchasing a residence can become complicated quickly, especially if you fail to consider the immediate and long-term costs associated with a house.

Ultimately, there are many hidden expenses that a homebuyer needs to consider before he or she purchases a house, including:

1. Utilities

Heating and cooling costs, water fees, electricity expenses and other utility bills may prove to be overwhelming if you're not careful. Fortunately, if you learn about various utility costs now, you may be better equipped to keep your utility bills in check at your new residence.

Ask your real estate agent for information about a home seller's utility bills. By doing so, you can get a better idea about how much your utilities may cost if you decide to purchase a particular residence.

Also, if you plan ahead for your utility bills, you can budget accordingly. Keep in mind that utilities are essential in any home. As such, you'll need to account for these costs in addition to your monthly mortgage payments, regardless of the home you buy.

2. Commuting

If you're moving to a new city or town, you'll want to consider how your move may impact your daily commute to work, school or any other locations that you visit regularly.

Consider a home's proximity to highways. If you move to a house that is located near a major highway, you may encounter heavy traffic at various points throughout the day, resulting in a lengthy commute.

Also, find out whether public transportation is available near your new home. In some instances, you may be able to take advantage of buses, trains and other public transportation options to get where you need to go without delay.

3. Home Upgrades

Although a home may appear to be a dream come true, there are problems beneath a house's exterior that could bubble to the surface after you complete your purchase. Thus, you may want to put aside money for home upgrades that may be necessary in the near future.

For example, an older home may require a new hot water heater and furnace soon. And if you start saving for a new hot water heater and furnace today, you may be able to replace them before it's too late.

A home inspector can help you identify home problems. This professional will conduct an in-depth review of a residence and provide honest feedback about any problems that could escalate quickly.

After a home inspection, you can always ask the home seller to perform the necessary repairs, or you can walk away from a home offer. On the other hand, you can keep your current home offer, move forward with your home purchase and complete the upgrades on your own.

When it comes to planning ahead for hidden home expenses, a real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Your real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and will do everything possible to ensure you are fully satisfied with any residence you purchase.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 3/30/2016

Do you have a home buying strategy? Buying a home can be a risky and expensive proposition so you will want to make sure you have a plan.  In order to put a plan in place you will want to ask ask the following questions: How long do I plan to live here? You will need to consider how long you plan to live in your home to determine if it makes financial sense. Consider what changes you might make during that time frame. Will you be starting a family? Will elderly parents need to move in with you? You may need a larger home or need to find a community with better amenities for children, and that will increase the likelihood of you moving. How is the local market? All real estate is local.  Find out all you can about the neighborhoods you're considering. Look at the inventory of homes, how have properties gone up or down in value, and how much homes are selling for compared to the listing price. What is my financial stability? Consider factors like the stability of your job. Will you still be there in five years? What kind of future does your industry have? Does climbing up the career ladder mean you might have to move elsewhere to get ahead? Look at your current debts and income, not your future salary, to determine whether you can afford to buy.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 11/4/2015

For many seniors, the idea of selling the home that they have raised a family in can be met with some resistance. And while many seniors are perfectly capable and comfortable taking care of a large home, there are some who would much rather do away with the hassle of home maintenance and lawn upkeep, opting instead to spend their golden years in a more relaxed setting with a more comfortable climate.  If you find yourself thinking about selling your home and settling in greener pastures, then there are a few things you will need to consider.

    • Are you moving because you want to, or because you think that taking care of your home is becoming a burden?
    • Do you want to move closer to family?
    • Is the climate you currently live in aggravating any medical conditions you may have?
Firstly, you must ask yourself what you'd want in your new residence.  Do you want to live in a place where things like lawn care and home maintenance are taken care of for you, or would you just prefer a smaller home?  Would you like to stay within your community, or are you thinking about an out-of-state move?  Florida has long been known for its retirement communities, but places like Arizona and New Mexico are quickly becoming retirement hot spots due to their affordability and warm climate. A few things to consider.
      • Availability and access to medical care
      • Would you like to have access to a swimming pool for exercise?
      • Are you open to the idea of living in an area with group activities?
Once you've settled on a potential destination, it's time to establish how much your home is worth.  A qualified real estate agent can help you through this process. For more moving tips for seniors, please click here.