4 Keys To Deciding To Buy Your Home

Many Americans hope to participate in the so – called, American Dream, by owning a home, of their own. However, since for most of us, the value of their house, often, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, wouldn’t it, perhaps, make sense, to proceed, as wisely as possible, and consider, as many relevant variables, as possible, before proceeding forward, and making a final decision? After, well over a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I proudly, adhere to my trademarked slogan, I will always tell you what you need to know, not just what you may want to hear! A consistent message, which needs to be articulated, understood, and followed, is, to focus on specific keys, to decide and determine, if, and when, you should buy any home, as well as some specific one! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 4 keys to deciding to buy a house.

1. Your needs/ desires: Begin by differentiating between your personal, wish list, and what, you, truly, need! How many rooms, do you seek, and why? How much property, makes sense. for you, and your personal situations? Which parts of a house, are most important, and relevant, for you, and why do you believe, so? How about the neighborhood, region, specific block, and location? Have you checked into safety/ security, schools/ education, convenience to transportation, shopping, Houses of Worship, to determine, which has the most value, for your specific desires, etc?

2. Credit: Before beginning your search for your supposed, home of your needs, be honest with yourself, and carefully, review, and check, the quality of your credit! Get a copy of your Credit Report, and be certain, there are no errors! Are there any corrections, which might make it better, and improve your score? Depending on your credit, and whether, lending institutions consider you, credit – worthy, generally, determines, whether, you will qualify for, and, what amount, you might receive! If you can’t do so, yourself, consult a professional, before you begin your quest!

3. Funds: Avoid being house – wealthy, and cash flow – poor! Have you accumulated, enough funds, for the necessities, including down – payment, Closing Costs, and necessary reserves? Wise people ensure they have the cash – equivalent of at least six months, in reserve, for emergencies, contingencies, etc!

4. Location: What location makes the most sense, for your needs, requirements, and ability to afford? Take your time, to ensure, you move, where you’ll be happy, satisfied, and comfortable!

Before buying your home, consider these 4 steps, thoroughly, and carefully! Are you ready to prepare, to protect your best interests?

Foundation Failure! 5 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Home

There it is! Your dream home sits there before your very eyes. You found just about everything you ever wanted and it’s in a great location. The house passed inspection. You’ve worked, sacrificed, and saved to make a down payment. You’ve jumped through the hoops and moved Heaven and Earth to make it a reality. What else could you possibly need to do before signing on the dotted line and walking into your dream?

Well, as it turns out, there are 5 more things to consider… and they all have something to do with your future dream home’s foundation.

1) Not all home inspections are equal.

Though most professional inspectors are extremely good at what they do, they can and often do miss signs of future foundation failure. A professional inspector’s field is so broad that it can be difficult or almost impossible to be proficient at every single area. Often, what passes inspection as “settling cracks” is really a neon sign announcing upcoming Foundation Failure.

2) It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Where you buy is just as important as what you buy. Houses sitting on flood plains are a disaster just waiting to happen. Even houses on the highest parcels of a flood plain are susceptible to the devastating results of flooding. A home owner may breathe a well deserved sigh of relief when his or her home is spared from water in the house and not realize the impact flooding has had on the soil on which the house sits. Soils react to standing water in a negative way through either expanding and contracting or erosion. Either can lead to Foundation Failure.

3) The type of soil beneath the house dictates the future.

Different soil types do different things. Clays tend to expand and contract with moisture or the lack thereof. Sand mixes often erode with sever rain conditions. Loamy mixes, both sand and clay, can be vulnerable to the proportions of the soil mixtures. A soil analysis can almost predict the future of a home’s foundation.

4) Outdated plumbing is a recipe for disaster.

In older homes, cast iron plumbing was installed in the initial construction. As time passes, cast iron becomes porous and eventually starts to leak. The ground surrounding the leak softens and gives way to the incredible amount of weight of the house above it. This creates unnatural stress on a concrete slab foundation and leads to foundation failure. It is important to note that not all plumbing leaks manifest symptoms! Home owners will often state emphatically that there’s been no change in water pressure in any of the home’s fixtures, therefore there cannot be a “plumbing leak”. The reality is that a plumbing leak can actually be a sewer drain leak. Sewer drain leaks do not create decreased water pressure because they use gravity to carry away waste and waste water. Once water hits the sewer drain, it has served its purpose and is leaving. The functional capabilities of faucets and toilets are unaffected by sewer leaks, hence, no lowered water pressure.

5) Everything is subject to change without prior notice.

Though not often, a house can pass inspection and then have issues almost immediately after purchase. Timing is tricky because things don’t come with an expiration date on them. Couple that with an overloaded professional inspector and you could have a potential time bomb on your hands. It almost makes a potential home buyer want to just stay put and forgo that dream house… almost. There is still hope for that dream house.

A Foundation Repair Specialist is worth every penny he charges if he saves a potential home buyer his or her life savings. Unlike a general house inspector, a Foundation Specialist knows all the signs and can see where they’re going. Additionally, he knows all the right questions to ask the current home owner and can build the home’s back story. This enables him to tell you if there’s a happy ending or not.

Before you make a decision on purchasing a home, consult a local Foundation Professional. His or her expertise will come with a reasonable price which will insure that your interests are served and not the interest of someone trying to unload a “money pit”. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Buying a Home? Don’t Make These Costly Mistakes

If you’re thinking about buying a home, this might be the best time to do so. The housing market is still going strong and millennials are a big factor.

Total mortgage application volume surged 25.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Oct. 2 compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance and to purchase homes are now at the highest level in five years.

Millennials represent the largest share of homebuyers, according to an analysis by the National Association of Realtors. Nearly one-third of all homebuyers, and 68 percent of first-time buyers, were 34 or younger last year. And those numbers are expected to grow.

Buying a home or know someone who is? Here are three common, and potentially costly, mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Overestimating what you can afford.

Real estate brokers say first-time buyers often focus on the down payment and monthly mortgage amount when calculating how much they can afford and forget to factor in closing and other costs when buying a home.

“They get to the closing and they’re shocked by the amount of money they have to pay,” said Vicki Fillet, certified financial planner and president at Blueprint Financial Planning in Hoboken, New Jersey.

When buying a home it’s important to remember too that monthly payments include not just the mortgage, but interest, taxes and insurance-something that buyers can often forget when figuring out their budgets.

It’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan so you know how much a bank is willing to lend you before you make an offer on a home. But keep in mind that the amount you’re pre-approved to borrow from a mortgage lender may be more than you can actually afford once you factor in taxes, insurance and other costs like condo or homeowners’ association fees and maintenance.

As a general guideline, your total monthly payment (including mortgage principal, interest, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance) shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of your gross, or pretax, income.

While some sellers are still asking for 20 percent down payments, it’s possible to pay much less. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced guidelines late last year for loans with down payments as low as 3 percent under a new program largely aimed at first-time homebuyers. Just remember that the lower your down payment, the bigger your mortgage loan (and the more you’ll pay in interest).

Mistake #2: Letting your emotions get the best of you.

Don’t get so attached that you buy with your heart and not your head. “It’s difficult not to get emotionally attached when buying a home. Homeownership is an investment in your future,” said Chris Polychron, president of the National Association of Realtors. But be careful. Get too emotionally attached and it can set you up to spend more than you can afford.

Cathy Moyano of Coccia Realty in Kearny, New Jersey, recommends prioritizing what you want in your home. Make a list of the most important qualities, whether you want a certain school district, updated bathrooms, a backyard, etc. Then figure out what you aren’t willing to give up. You won’t find the perfect home that meets your entire list so narrowing it down to what matters most can help you through your search process.

A real estate agent can help facilitate the searching and buying process. Using apps and sites like Zillow, Trulia, Street Easy and Redfin can also help speed up your search.

Mistake #3: Not planning ahead.

Once you’ve narrowed the search and you are ready to make on offer, check with your agent about the demand. Is the home getting multiple offers? Has it sat on the market a long time? Will it require a lot of upgrades?

Make sure you get a thorough inspection. Fillet said buyers often don’t get an inspector with expertise to check the pipes, the plumbing, or air conditioning. You want someone who knows what they are doing, not just an inspector from the real estate broker, she said.

Remember the resale opportunities. Consider the school district, Fillet said, because even if you don’t have children or plan on having any, the next buyer might.

Don’t overly improve the property either or “over customize to your personal taste,” Moyano said. “Let’s say you’ve painted your dining room purple, before you sell it, paint it back to a neutral color. This sounds like a little thing, but it does leave an impact when you’re showing homes.”

Advantages of Buying a Home Over Renting

Many people are caught between the dilemma of whether to buy a home or rent one. The answers are not easy because each individual’s situation is different, and the answer may also vary depending on the prevailing market rates for buying and renting at any given point of time. However, with the real estate rates at fairly low levels at present, buying a home offers a much superior opportunity in many ways over renting for a majority of people.

Sense of Ownership

Almost everyone has a dream to have their own home someday. Owning a house gives a sense of permanence and ownership to a family. For many homeowners, the value of owning a home and the peace of mind that comes with it is priceless. Apart from the financial advantages, there is an inherent sentimental value attached to owning a home, which cannot be assessed in monetary terms.

Sense of Financial Security

When you own a home, it becomes a long-term financial security for you and your family. It is a safeguard against the future uncertainties of inflation and other economic conditions. If the construction costs and rentals rise unexpectedly in the future, a homeowner remains unaffected by such sudden conditions.

Tax Benefits

In many cases, the interest payments on the home mortgage and even the real estate tax amount may be deductible from your income tax. Therefore, if you pay installments on your home rather than paying monthly rentals, you can build your own home without too much burden on your financial capacity.

Potential for Capital Appreciation

If you have purchased your home during dull market conditions when the prices are hovering at low levels, chances are that you may benefit in terms of capital appreciation over a period of time. A prudent investment can enable you to accumulate or earn a sharp and considerable return, which you cannot expect in case of a rented home.

Better Financial Planning

If you have taken a fixed rate mortgage, you know exactly how many installments you will be required to pay in the future for what amounts. You can plan your monthly budget accordingly and maintain proper and appropriate control over your finances. This may not be possible so easily in case of the rental option because the rent is not in your control once the term of rental agreement is over.

Enhanced Credit Opportunities

Homeowners usually have a better advantage when they need to apply for loans in the future. A homeowner can build equity over a period of time, and borrow against that equity when necessary. Credit card companies and other private lenders typically favor homeowners for the disbursement of credit and loans.

Private Mortgage Insurance *

If the down payment on your home is below 20 percent of its sale value, you can get a private mortgage insurance (PMI) with your lender. PMI helps you to acquire a mortgage with a lower down payment because it protects the lender against any default on your loan. PMI offers an excellent advantage to people who wish to own a home rather than rent one, but do not have substantial finances available for a larger down payment.

Resource:

* http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/the-basics-of-private-mortgage-insurance-pmi.aspx

10 Reasons Why Buying a Home in Palm Coast Florida Is a Smart Move

Options abound when it comes to buying property in Florida, including homes on the ocean or a bit further inland. One city to seriously consider is Palm Coast, which is on Florida’s east coast, on the A1A River and the River to Sea Preserve. It offers the best of all worlds, with its size of more than 70,000 and its beautiful scenery. Here are the top 10 reasons to buy in this location.

1. Proximity to Large Cities

It’s not far from some of Florida’s larger cities, such as Orlando (82 miles away), Gainesville (also 82 miles away) and Jacksonville (58 miles away). It’s also near Daytona, which is 37 miles to the south, and St. Augustine, which is 37 miles to the north.

2. Near Key Attractions

It is also near some wonderful attractions. For example, since Orlando is only 82 miles away, it’s an easy day trip away for enjoying the city’s theme parks and other attractions.

3. Things to Do

Residents of Palm Coast have plenty to do and see without leaving town. There are golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, fishing expeditions on the Intracoastal Waterway, tours at formal gardens, birdwatching on the Great Birding Trail and explorations of wildlife areas and marshlands.

4. Quiet and Peaceful

While Palm Coast provides easy access to cities and attractions, it is out of the way and therefore doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of a larger place.

5. No State Income Tax

Florida is one of the few states with no state income tax.

6. Great Schools

The nine elementary schools, six middle schools and four high schools serving the Palm Coast area are highly rated and offer various options, including public, charter and private education.

7. Beautiful Waterfront Homes

In Palm Coast, there are plentiful waterfront homes that offer fun, relaxation and beauty. These range from those on the ocean to spots along the Intracoastal Waterway.

8. Mild Climate

The area offers mild weather year-round and pleasant ocean breezes to cool things off in the summer.

9. Reasonable Prices

Home prices in Palm Coast are reasonable, with numerous options in the $200,000 and $300,000 range.

10. Highway Access

It’s easy to get in and out of town, thanks to Interstate 95 being nearby.

Palm Coast is an ideal spot for all ages and stages of life. It’s in a booming real estate market, and now is a great time to buy in this thriving area.