Apartment Frightmares: How You Can Live Happy Again

Three Questions First-Time Homebuyers May Wonder About

Posted by on 3:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Questions First-Time Homebuyers May Wonder About

Buying your first home may be one of the more overwhelming tasks that you will do during your life. Unfortunately, if you have a limited understanding when it comes to this task, you may not be sure of what to expect as you work your way through this purchase. To help you be a better-informed consumer, you will want to make sure that you are aware of the answers to these three commonly asked questions from first-time homebuyers. What Is Private Mortgage Insurance?  In order to secure a mortgage, it will usually be necessary for you to make a relatively large down payment. However, it is a fact of life that many people will struggle to save enough money to make this down payment. To help individuals that are facing this problem, many lenders will allow individuals to use private mortgage insurance to minimize the amount of down payment that is needed. These insurance policies essentially insure the bank against the risk of your defaulting on the loan. While these insurance policies can be extremely useful, they can also add a substantial amount of your monthly mortgage. Fortunately, you will not have to carry this insurance for the entirety of your mortgage as most lenders will lift this requirement once you meet certain equity requirements. Will It Matter If You Are Planning On Renting The Property? Investing in real estate can be an excellent way of providing yourself with additional income through rents. However, you might not be aware that using property for commercial purposes may require different financing terms. This is due to the fact that banks and other lenders will often have far higher credit requirements to issue loans for investment properties. However, if your credit is good enough to qualify for one of these loans, you may be able to include the projected income of the property in your application to help lower the interest rate of your loan. What Happens If The House Is Completely Destroyed Before The Mortgage Is Paid? It is a reality that disasters can strike any community. Sadly, if you lose your home, you will still be obligated for the mortgage on the property. For this reason, you will want to make sure that you choose a homeowners’ insurance policy that provides replacement coverage in the event your home is lost. This will ensure that you have the money needed to pay off the rest of the mortgage so that you can start...

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What To Teach Your Child To Do When They Get Locked Out Of The House

Posted by on 3:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Teach Your Child To Do When They Get Locked Out Of The House

One of the scenarios you need to be prepared for as a parent is the inevitable situation where your child will get locked out of the house and there are no adults around to let them in. Your child may have a key to get in, but it can get lost or misplaced or even left in the house, leaving your young one without a way to get inside when they get home from school or a friend’s house. Just in case this scenario happens to you, here are things you should teach your child in case they do get locked out sometime. Have them go to a safe location  Your child should be taught to go to a designated safe location should they get locked out, whether it’s the swing set in the backyard or the neighbor’s house. A child left on their own doorstep can become a target for would-be thieves or assailants, so make sure your child knows that, if they get locked out, they are to immediately go to a safe location of your mutual choosing. Make sure they have your number Your cell phone and work phone numbers should be programmed into your child’s cell phone so they can immediately reach you or your spouse should they get locked out of the home. They should also have the number of a nearby relative or trusted family friend in case they cannot reach you. Once they let you know they have been locked out, let them know how quickly you will be able to get to them, or let them know that you are calling a relative/friend to pick them up. Alert them to the locksmith If you are calling a locksmith, let them know that you have a child locked out of the house and tell your child what the locksmith will be wearing and what their service vehicle looks like so they are prepared. When the locksmith arrives to your home, have them call you prior to beginning entry services. If your child is more comfortable at a friend’s house while the locksmith works on letting you inside, make sure you know just where your child is by staying in communication the entire duration the locksmith is around. You want to make sure your child is ready with safe responses to being locked out of the house just in case it happens to them. Have your child role-play a scenario in which you aren’t home and they can’t get inside so you can be sure they know just what to do. Contact a company like Southern California Security Centers for more safety tips....

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3 Questions To Ask Potential Real Estate Agents During Your Consultations

Posted by on 3:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Questions To Ask Potential Real Estate Agents During Your Consultations

Now that you’ve decided to put your home on the market finding a real estate agent to work with is an essential next step. Here are a few questions to ask during your consultations with potential service providers that should help you decide which one will meet your needs the best: What Services Have Additional Fees Associated With Them?  One of the most important things to consider when consulting with potential real estate agents is additional fees because they can make a big impact on the overall costs of your home sale. Bring along a list of services you expect you’ll need such as: Appraisals Coordination with your legal team Open-house hosting  Home tours You can use your list to find out which agents will be able to meet all of your needs and to determine how much extra, if anything, will be charged for each service you’re looking to take advantage of. You can then use the list at home afterward to compare each service provider side-by-side when deciding who you want to ultimately work with. How is Ongoing Advertising Handled? Almost all real estate agents include advertising as part of their services, but they all don’t execute the same promotional campaigns as one another. Because of this, it’s essential to have each potential agent you speak with to provide you with a checklist of advertising services that will be used once your home goes on the market. Make sure that the agent you decide to work with implements a variety of advertising tactics including: Newspaper ads Social media posts Blog publications Word-of-mouth campaigns Promotional item giveaways In addition to learning about the basic advertising avenues that will be used by each potential real estate agent, it’s a good idea to find out a bit about how those avenues will be used. For example, if social media will be used you should know what kind of account will do the marketing, how often promotions for your home will be posted, and how you can keep up with the results of those efforts. Who Will Be Working With Your Agent? The chances are that your agent doesn’t work alone all of the time, especially when they have a full calendar. If any potential agents you speak with plan to work with assistants or other agents throughout the process of selling your home, find out who they are and what kind of experience they have. You should also learn whether or not they’re licensed and insured too. Although you don’t have to meet your agent’s team in person, it is important to know a little something about their qualifications. Add these questions to a list of your own, so they aren’t overlooked during the consultation meetings you schedule with potential real estate...

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Tips For Purchasing A Starter Or Temporary Home

Posted by on 11:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Purchasing A Starter Or Temporary Home

Not every home purchase is meant to be a forever home. Whether you are shopping for a starter home or simply know that you won’t be remaining in an area for the rest of your life, it’s still important to purchase with care. There are certain things you should look for in these somewhat temporary home purchases to make sure you can easily sell them when the time comes to move on. Check the real estate history Not just for the home you are looking at, but for the whole area. If you plan to sell in a few years, then you want a home that is in an area that is on a steady upward trend when it comes to home values. For those planning to move further in the future, such as at retirement, a stable real estate history that shows that the area weathers the normal ups and downs of the market well is a good sign. Look into the neighborhood’s prospects Purchasing in an area that is just beginning to go through a gentrification process isn’t a good idea if you will be moving in a few years, as there is no guarantee that values will go up in the area instead of down. Instead, check out the neighborhood to make sure it is stable and that the citizens are engaged with maintaining the area. Things to look for include: A variety of businesses that are doing well. Sound, well maintained infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, and parks. Good schools and libraries within a short distance. Neighborhood activity, including dog walkers, bicyclists, and children playing. Engaged citizen groups, such as neighborhood councils or boards, or “friends of” groups for parks or business areas. Plenty of nearby employment opportunities. Tread carefully in transient areas Some neighborhoods cater to a highly transient population. These are usually in areas near large universities, by military bases, or near large multi-national corporations. Residents buy a home and live in an area for a set amount of time – until they graduate, are reassigned, or are transferred, for example. Houses may sell quickly since the population is constantly in flux, but the value of the homes rises slowly simply because the status and wage level of the new influx of homebuyers is likely stagnant. Purchasing in a transient area can be a good option if your eventual move is far in the future if the population is stable – in other words the base isn’t in danger of closure or the corporation is likely to remain successful. If you will be staying in the home for 10 years or more, for example, the value will increase some due to inflation which means you can have a nice bit of equity in a stable value area. On the other hand, if you are part of the transient population and will be moving in a few years, you won’t be able to build sufficient equity and may even end up upside down on the mortgage. Contact a real estate agent to discuss which homes for sale would best fit your...

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Three Tips When Buying A Home

Posted by on 5:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips When Buying A Home

Finding a new home can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding steps that you take in your life. In order to turn this dream into a reality, you need to be sure that you understand a few tips that will help you land the home that you have always wanted. Read these guidelines below and put them into use, as you also contact a real estate agent who will help you become a home owner.  Tip #1: Avoid Moving Your Money Around Leading Up To The House Hunt One of the biggest factors when searching for a house is securing the financing to afford it. There are a lot of financial lenders available to help you, and this process will involve thorough background checks and research into your credit profile and history. Because of these background checks you must go through, you need to be sure that your accounting is as clean and easy to understand as possible. To this end, avoid moving any serious amounts of money around during the 6 months leading up to you seeking the necessary financing required to purchase a home. This way, you increase the chances of your application being approved and will avoid any red flags.  Tip #2: Find The Best Real Estate Agent When it comes to the house purchase process, the realtor you hire will make a huge difference. Because of this, you should take the time to interview several real estate agents until you find the right fit. Research their license to make sure that it is current and be sure that you browse their site to see which listings they currently have available. Interview multiple prospective realtors until you find a realtor or person that you feel comfortable with.  Tip #3: Always Get Your Home Inspected Before Purchasing You should never finance a home until you are 100 percent confident that it does not have any serious problems. The only way to know this for sure is through a third-party inspection. Hire a home inspector to go out to the property and assess things like the foundation, roof, electrical wiring, and plumbing. You should also have them look for things like termites, mold, and asbestos. Taking the time to handle this first will give you peace of mind once you are ready to close on a property.  Follow these golden house hunting tips so that you find the best house for you. Click here for more...

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Learning How To Work With A Homeowner Association When Buying A Home

Posted by on 4:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learning How To Work With A Homeowner Association When Buying A Home

Many communities, especially gated communities or condominium areas, utilize a homeowner association to create a series of guidelines and bylines. If you’re considering buying a home with such a group, it is important to understand them fully. Otherwise, you might end up butting heads and regretting your purchase. The Basics Of Homeowner Associations Homeowner associations are groups that help govern a community by creating guidelines, upholding rules, and maintaining certain common areas. For example, they would be responsible for cleaning the sidewalks in a gated community or fixing broken pavement in basketball courts or common parking lots. They typically charge homeowners about $200 to $400 a month in fees, but this varies. In many ways, homeowner associations can be a positive thing when you are purchasing a home. They will perform duties (like the above-mentioned cleaning tasks) that would be tedious to perform on your own. They also schedule group gatherings to create a sense of community. However, it is important to understand what the association expects from you before buying. Talk To The Association Before You Buy If you are seriously considering purchasing a home under the jurisdiction of a homeowner’s association, get their contact information and sit down with the directors to have a talk. You need to ask them some important questions regarding their: Articles of incorporation Bylaws Rules and regulations Fees (including amount and regularity of occurrence) Rules and guidelines The directors of the association will likely be happy to either discuss this information with you or give you paperwork regarding it. Understanding this information can help you decide if you’d fit in with the neighborhood. For example, if you enjoy playing music late at night, but the association forbids such behavior, it might not be a good idea to purchase the home. Understanding Your Rights The fees you pay a homeowner association are designed to cover the expenses of their operation. However, if they fail to meet these duties and still accept your fees, there is a chance your rights in the association may be violated. For example, if the directors are neglecting the necessity of getting important common areas repaired, they may be at fault for neglect. Thankfully, you can have directors removed from their post if they are neglecting their duties. You can also pursue legal action against the association if necessary. However, it is important to know that they too can sue you if they have just cause, such as not following guidelines or refusing to pay your fees. A homeowner association can be a powerful tool for protecting your rights as a homeowner and making sure that everyone in a neighborhood is on the same page. Understanding the above mentioned information can help you get along with your homeowner’s association after purchasing a home. For more information, contact local professionals like Mary Couser: Galbreath...

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3 Things To Analyze When Choosing A Lot For Your New Home

Posted by on 12:03 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things To Analyze When Choosing A Lot For Your New Home

If you are planning on building a new home and are looking for a lot to buy for this purpose, you may want to spend some time looking for the right piece of land. You should choose a location you like in an area that is nice, but you should also consider the following three factors as you look at lots for sale. Dimensions The location and looks of a lot are important, but choosing a lot with the right dimensions is also an important factor to consider. Some lots you look at might be really big, and therefore you wouldn’t have to examine the dimensions as much; however, some lots are smaller. If you are looking at lots in a subdivision, carefully analyze the dimensions, especially if you have already selected the house you want to build, to make sure your home selection will fit well on the property. Elevation Elevation of a lot is also an important factor you might not even think about looking at, but you should, especially if you want to put a basement in your new home. The elevation refers to how high the ground is above the water table. If you build a house on a lot with low elevation, you may have to haul in dozens of trucks of sand in order to build the lot up high enough. Failing to do this could lead to flooding in your home because the basement will be built below the water table. Soil Type The third thing to look into is the soil type on the lot because the soil type can affect several things. First of all, certain types of soils are easier to work with than others. For example, if your lot contains clay, it will be harder to work with, and this might result in extra fees for building the house. Rocky soil that is difficult to dig through will have similar effects. In addition, the soil type also dictates drainage of the yard. Clay does not drain as well as other soil types, which means you may need to spend extra money on a drainage system if you purchase a lot that is made up primarily of clay. These are just a few factors you might not think of when you are buying a lot, but there are others too. If you have any questions or are interested in viewing lots for sale, contact a real estate...

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Buying A New Home? Two Tips To Help You Get The Best Deal

Posted by on 8:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying A New Home? Two Tips To Help You Get The Best Deal

If you’re in the market for a new house, it’s important that you get the best deal.  Buying a home is a huge investment, and you need to get the most house for your money.  While you likely understand that you can certainly negotiate the listed price of the homes that you’re looking at, there are a few other things you can do to ensure that you’re getting a good price.  Use this information to learn two tips that can help you secure a good deal the next time you’re buying a house. Understand The City’s Plans One of the best ways for you to score a great deal on a home is to take a look at the city plans.  You may be amazed to find that a home which is priced extremely well could become a goldmine in the upcoming years. For example, you could be looking at a home in a seemingly rundown part of town.  The previous owners may have made some exceptional upgrades to the home, and it now has everything that you’ve been desiring in your next house.  Pricing could be perfect, and the only thing holding you back is the location. That’s why it’s so important for you to obtain the city’s plans.  Unbeknownst to you, there could be plans to completely transform the area surrounding the house in the next few years.  A shopping mall, stadium and even new schools could be in the works.  If you’re willing to hold out for just a bit, you could end up with a house that is worth much, much more than you paid for it. You can obtain the city’s plans by contacting the local office of urban planning and development. Understand When To Buy Knowing when to buy is another key that can help you get a good price on your next home.  If you purchase your home in mid to late fall, you may be able to buy a home at a better rate. Some people like to buy homes during the late spring and summer.  This occurs because buyers want to make sure that their children are all set to start school when the late summer or fall rolls around.  Because there are so many buyers, it becomes a sellers’ market and home prices may elevate. Buying during the mid to late fall means that there may be fewer competitors, causing sellers to lower prices because they’re ready to sell. Getting a good deal on your next house doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to do.  When you’re ready to buy, keep these tips in mind so you can save...

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Keeping Apartment Noise Down

Posted by on 10:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keeping Apartment Noise Down

No one likes a noisy neighbor, but what happens when you find out that you are considered the loud one? You have children and pets, plus you love music. Do you have to muffle everyone and everything to keep your neighbors from reporting you to the management company or worse, to the police? Of course, the answer is no. You can still live a free and happy life while taking steps to turn down the volume. Flooring Your and your family are going to make some noise, so you should not try and be silent. However, if you live above other tenants, thin flooring can make your footsteps pound and echo, driving even the calmest neighbor to cry foul. If you have carpeting, consider investing in sound-deadening carpet underlays, sold online or in some home improvement stores. This substance should help deaden the sound of footsteps as well as your music and television. For hardwood floors, you may need to invest in thick area rugs. If you are considering moving into a new apartment, remember that high-end options are going to have thicker floors and walls, so disturbing the neighbors will be less of an issue. Hours If your neighbor complains about noise from your television or sound system even with the new flooring, you can set boundaries for both families to follow. After all, you should have a peaceful existence as well. You can agree to no electronics after 10pm and before 8am. If your kids have a bad habit of yelling and running, you can promise to correct the behavior. In return, you should expect the same consideration from them. Remember that apartment tenants have to expect some noise, especially if they live in the city. Landlord If you cannot come to an agreement with your neighbor, and their complaints continue, it may be time to confer with the landlord or management company. You cannot be afraid to make some noise and still be able to comfortably live your life. Although these are the kind of disputes that landlords hate, mediating them is simply part of their job. Go to the meeting calmly and armed with facts. If this step does not work, then you can hope the neighbor moves. Successfully living in an apartment requires that you treat everyone with respect. All tenants should expect to make certain accommodations. After all, if your neighbor has a new baby, they can’t keep the child from crying. If you have a neighbor who makes unfair demands, address them in a reasonable manner. If that doesn’t work, bring in management. For more information, contact companies like St. Louis...

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Selling Your House: How To Fix Your Yard Problems

Posted by on 6:10 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Selling Your House: How To Fix Your Yard Problems

When you have a beautiful house, you expect to be able to sell it quickly. Sometimes, buyer after buyer comes through, seems to love your home, but passes on the sale. If the price is right, the real problem could be your yard. A number of landscaping issues could be scaring off your prospective owners. Fortunately, you can fix these issues without spending too much money.  Small Yard A small backyard can turn off many buyers. Although you can’t make your yard larger, you can make it look bigger by employing smart landscaping strategies. Experts recommend that you make the entry into your home bright and colorful. By emphasizing the area near the door, the rest of the yard becomes less important. In fact, it seems to “recede.” You can use both bright, warm-colored paint or flowers to achieve this effect. You can also create different levels to make the yard seem larger than it is. You can slightly raise or sink your patio or add  planters of various heights. This tactic breaks up the yard so that others don’t realize how small the area actually is.  Poor Maintenance You do not have to re-landscape your yard, but you do need to replace old mulch, trim low-hanging branches, and clip your bushes and/or hedges. Keeping the lawn mowed is an obvious must, but you also need to reseed areas where grass has ceased to grow. All of these steps require little money but a day or two of hard labor. If you aren’t a fan of yard work, simply hire someone to tidy up for you. A little money in this area can make the difference in a home sale.  Potted Plants If your yard needs a super quick fix, you can invest in some potted plants to arrange outside your home. For at least three seasons in the year, a quick trip to a plant nursery or even discount store can provide you with a colorful variety of plants that you can hang on your porch, arrange in your flower beds, and place on your patio. In a pinch, this simple step can help rescue a potential sale.  Most homeowners take care of the interior of their for-sale home first. Of course, your home needs to be picture perfect, but you can’t afford to neglect the yard. You do not have to dazzle anyone, but your yard should be neat and colorful. A little effort outside can help propel you toward a successful closing. Talk to your real estate agent for more...

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