Nikki Carter's Blog
For first-time homebuyers, going from property buyer to property owner may seem virtually impossible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of buying a home.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that every first-time homebuyer needs to consider:
1. What is my "dream" residence?
One first-time homebuyer's definition of a "dream" residence may differ from another's. As such, you should consider what you'd like to find in a dream house before you begin your real estate search.
Creating a checklist of "must-haves" and "wants" in your house often serves as a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist will enable homebuyers to consider what they'd like to find in a dream home and plan accordingly.
Also, it is important to establish realistic expectations before you kick off a home search.
Many terrific houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but no home is likely to have every feature that you desire in a dream residence.
Therefore, if you establish realistic expectations for your home search, you can avoid potential let-downs as you explore a broad array of high-quality houses.
2. How will I pay for a home?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is vital for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know what you can afford to spend on a home before you enter the real estate market.
Many banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss your mortgage options. These lenders can outline the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, help you assess your credit score and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.
Furthermore, lenders can answer any mortgage questions that you may have. They can help you evaluate your current financial situation and enable you to obtain a mortgage that won't force you to revamp your day-to-day budget.
3. How do I begin searching for a house?
Beginning a home search is easy, particularly for first-time homebuyers who work with expert real estate agents.
An expert real estate agent understands what it takes to find a wonderful house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, he or she will do everything possible to help you navigate the housing market quickly and effortlessly.
Typically, an expert real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and submit home offers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will offer honest, unbiased recommendations throughout the homebuying journey to help you select a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
When it comes to exploring the housing market, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you get the best results possible during the homebuying journey.
Want to acquire your first home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to owning a top-notch house.
If you are preparing to sell your house, you need to be honest with yourself and others. That way, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Ultimately, it pays to be an honest home seller for a number of reasons, including:
1. You can establish a competitive price for your house.
It is important to understand that what your house is worth today is unlikely to match what you paid for it, regardless of when you bought your home. Fortunately, an honest home seller is realistic about his or her house's value and can plan accordingly.
Generally, an honest home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to conduct a home appraisal. Because with an appraisal report in hand, this home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her house based on actionable data.
2. You can identify home problems before a buyer does.
If a home seller tries to hide home problems from a buyer, the consequences could be significant. In fact, a seller may put a potential home sale in jeopardy if he or she fails to be forthright and honest with buyers from the get-go.
For example, consider what might happen if a buyer submits an offer on a house and discovers myriad home problems during an inspection. In this scenario, a buyer may ask the seller to perform various home repairs or request a price reduction. Or, a buyer may choose to walk away from a home sale altogether.
As a home seller, it helps to take an honest approach to inform potential buyers about the condition of a house. If a residence requires assorted repairs, a seller may want to complete these repairs before listing his or her residence.
Comparatively, a seller can always include information about a home's condition in a house listing. If a seller does so, he or she can help buyers make an informed decision about a possible home purchase.
3. You can avoid rash decisions throughout the home selling journey.
An honest home seller usually is calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling journey. This seller understands the pros and cons of his or her house, and as such, can take an informed, logical approach to make the best-possible decisions.
Perhaps most important, an honest home seller is unafraid to receive negative feedback about his or her house. As a result, this seller may be better equipped than others to avoid rash decisions during the home selling journey.
There are many great reasons why a home seller should strive to be honest at each stage of the home selling cycle. Of course, if you need extra help as you sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well.
Typically, a real estate agent will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations and suggestions. He or she will even help you get your house ready for the real estate market. And with this housing market professional's support, a home seller can move closer to achieving his or her desired results.
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The process of closing on a home can seem lengthy and complex if it’s your first time buying or selling a house. There are several costs and fees required to close on a home, and while it’s up to the individuals to decide who covers what costs, there are some conventions to follow.
In this article, we’re going to talk about closing costs for selling a house and signing on a mortgage. We’ll discuss who pays what, and whether there is room for negotiation within the various fees and expenses.
But first, let’s talk a little bit about what closing costs are and what to expect when you start the process of buying or selling a home.
Closing costs, simplified
If you’re just now entering the real estate market, the good news is you can often estimate your closing costs based on the value of the property in question. You can ask your real estate agent relatively early on in the process for a ballpark figure of your costs.
Closing costs will vary depending on the circumstances of your sale and the area you live in. In some cases, closing costs can be bundled into your mortgage, such as in “No Closing Cost Mortgages.” However, avoiding having to deal with closing costs often comes at the expense of a slightly higher interest rate.
If you are planning to buy a house and have recently applied for a mortgage, laws require that your lender sends you an estimate of your closing costs within a few days of your application.
Now that we know how closing costs work, let’s take a look at who plays what.
Buyer closing costs
In terms of the sheer number of closing costs, buyers tend to have the most to deal with. Fortunately, your real estate agent will help you navigate these costs and simplify the process.
They can range from two to five percent of the cost of the sale price of the home. However, be sure to check with your lender for the closest estimate of your closing costs. It’s a good idea to shop around for mortgage lenders based on interest rates as well as closing costs charged by the lender.
Here are some of the costs you might be asked to pay as a home buyer:
Prepaid interest or discount points
Home inspection fee
Insurance and Escrow deposits
Seller Closing Costs
While the seller pays a larger amount of closing costs, sellers still have obligations at closing that can be just as expensive. The biggest expense for sellers is to pay the real estate commission. Commission usually falls in the vicinity of 6% of the sale price of the home. This covers the commission of both the seller’s and the buyer’s real estate agents.
The main takeaway? Buyers and sellers both share the burden of closing costs. While the buyer has more expenses to take care of, the seller pays for the largest costs.
Many times the house that people initially buy isn’t the property that will be their forever home. The house could be too big, too small, or not in an ideal location. When you sell your first home, you want to get the most out of your investment. There are so many easy ways that you can upgrade your home for a small amount of money. Any of these upgrades will add value to your home. Read on to find some of the most affordable improvements you can make to your home that will add character and value for you.
Do Something With The Kitchen
While “something” is a bold statement, it’s true. Just about any improvement, you make in your kitchen will give you a great return. Some ideas include:
Change the countertops
Replace the cabinets
Replace the stove
Get a new dishwasher
Install a new floor
There are so many different things that you can do to make a kitchen better. The possibilities are almost endless! The key to any renovation that you do is that you don’t want it to be too styled. Try to aim for improvements that will be timeless. Check out the current trends and see what seems to be a staple in modern homes. Keep in mind that you also have to like whatever it is you’re doing to your home.
Give Your Fireplace A Facelift
Upgrading the fireplaces in your home can be a great project and an excellent way to enhance your home. You can do anything from merely repairing your fireplace relieving it from any cracks. If you’re feeling zealous, you can change the type or face of fireplace you have. Look into switching from a wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace. Change the front of your fireplace from brick to tone. Fireplaces are attractive features in homes that make any space cozy.
Upgrade The Outdoor Space
An outdoor living space adds a lot to a home. The nice thing about adding outdoor is you can go as big as you want to. If you live in a warm region, an outdoor kitchen is an awesome feature to add on. Put a deck on your house. Construct a patio. Put up a gazebo or permanent screen house. There are so many ways to make outdoor living a possibility.
Clean Up Your Outdoor Space
Giving the outside of your a once over can be an easy way to upgrade your property. You can power wash your siding. Trim your bushes. Add some more plants and foliage to the landscape. These are all simple, yet practical upgrades to your home that add value and appeal.