Saturday, 4 June 2011

5 Tips on Renovations That Add Value To Your Home

A good investment in a renovation should increase the value of your home by at least the amount of money you spent, or close to it. A bad one doesn't get you much of your money back. Here are some investments that have proven to return their value, or close to it:

1. Low-cost improvements that make your home look better: Painting, new wallpaper, and items like new rugs and curtains help to brighten and improve the look of a home, and add value to your house if they are done close to the time of sale.

2. New or improved kitchens and bathrooms: Improvements to your kitchen and bathroom seem most likely to increase the value of your home. Keep in mind that these improvements lose value over time.

3. Improvements to the living room and the master bedroom: These are also good investments and will usually return most of the money you spent, if not more.

4. Investments in more efficient use of energy: Oil, gas, and hydro costs continue to go up. That's becoming more of a concern when people are looking to buy a home. You can make your home more energy efficient as an investment in its value. Some government programs help reduce the costs of these projects. Also, consider buying appliances that waste less energy.

5. Keeping up with repairs. If you do a little at a time, you can avoid doing a lot of expensive repairs at the same time. A reasonable amount to spend yearly is 1% to 2% of the value of your home.

What are some renovations that don't add much value to my home?

Swimming pool: Make sure you want a pool before you invest in a pool. The cost of putting in one won't show up in the price that you get when you sell a home.

Costly appliances: Most people won't want to pay an extra $4,000 for your home to pay for a $7,000 refrigerator instead of a $1,200 refrigerator. If you pay thousands of dollars for top-of-the-line appliances, enjoy them. You probably won't get your money back if you sell them with your home.

Costly landscaping: The way your home looks from the street can really help interest buyers. It's called 'curb appeal.' But if you spend $30,000 in landscaping, don't expect to get it all back. Most buyers probably won't see or appreciate the value.

Renovating in an area where homes are being torn down: Tear-down activity involves homes being sold, torn down, and replaced by bigger, more expensive homes. If someone is going to buy your home and tear it down, a renovation won't return any of your money. The buyer will have no interest in the building, just in the land.Remember: Don't assume you will get all your money back from a renovation.

The key to renovating is to keep the house in good repair and do the renovations you want to enjoy. If you think you might be selling in the near future, focus on renovations that are more likely to get your money back.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Secure The Rate and Score

Since weeks, and sometimes months, can go by between having the offer accepted and closing on the new home, it’s a good idea to lock in the interest rate and points. 

What is a rate lock?
A lock is a commitment by the lender that guarantees Home buyer a certain interest rate for a specific period of time.

Time period
The most common amount of time for a lock is 30 days. It is good to remember, though, that the shorter the lock period, typically the lower the rate will be. The longer the lock period, the greater the risk to the lender that rates will change, and not necessarily in the lender’s favor. That’s why lenders usually charge more for a longer time period with a lock.

Locking into rates and points means that the lender commits to giving buyer a specified interest rate for a specified period of time. If buyer don’t lock into rates and points, home buyer risk the mortgage costing more than it needs to, so be sure that home buyers are clear about what to lock into and for how long.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Are You Ready To Buy A Home?

Are you ready to buy a home?

Along with your own personal motivation to own a home, there's a sound financial reason to buy: 
Your home may be the single biggest investment you'll ever make, one that could pay off significantly in the long run.

The earlier you can redirect the money you currently pay in rent into paying down a mortgage, the faster you'll start building equity in your home. 
You build equity with each mortgage payment as compared to rent. 
And there's a tax advantage to purchasing a home. When you sell your principle residence for more than you paid for it, the increase in value, known as capital gains, is yours tax free.

But that doesn't mean that everyone should be a homeowner. If your move is short-term or if you are unsure of the location in which you want to live, it may be worthwhile to continue to rent for a while.

As a first-time home buyer, you probably have many questions and that needs a careful study on How A Lender offers step-by-step personal assistance from knowledgeable mortgage specialists.

So it is time to Go and ask for more benefits.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Tips On Making An Offer On A Home

Once First time Home Buyer found the right home, the next step is to make an offer to the seller.
This can be a nerve wracking step in the home buying process, especially since Home Buyer stand to spend a great deal of money and there is a chance that the seller will reject the offer.

You don’t have to offer the asking price. Remember, an asking price is just that. 
Work with real estate agent to choose the right price for the first offer. 

Some things to consider: 
What other homes in the area are selling for
The condition of the home
How long the home has been on the market. 

A home that needs considerable repairs and updates or one that has been on the market for a long time may warrant making an offer that is lower than the seller’s asking price. But if the house is in excellent condition and has gotten a great deal of attention from other buyers, it might mean that the offer should stick closer to the asking price, or even be higher.

Keep in mind your bargaining chips. Remember that price isn’t everything. Getting preapproved for the mortgage, not having a sale contingency and being flexible on the closing date can all make the offer more attractive. Contingencies can also include home repairs and leaving major appliances. There may be other parts of the contract that are important to the seller; being flexible will help. The easier Home Buyer make the deal for the seller, the better change you have of having your offer accepted.

Put it in writing. Once Home Buyer and the seller have agreed on an offer, make sure everything is in writing, even things that may not seem important. Perhaps Home Buyer asked the seller to include drapes or bookshelves. To ensure those items are included in the deal, put them in the contract.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Finding for the Perfect House

The right area, the right lot, the right house, the right price.

Now comes the fun part - shopping for your first home. 

Before you go, consider what's most important to you: 
Is it the location? 

The yard? 

2 bedrooms or 3? 

Make a list of 'must haves', but be willing to compromise.

Searching for the perfect home can be overwhelming.

To avoid wasting time looking at homes that aren’t right for the family, first set aside time to determine what you need in a home. 

If Home Buyer and  real estate agent have a clear idea of what to look for,  a lot less time visiting houses that don’t appeal to you will be eliminated.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Recruiting a Real Estate Agent

When buying a home, it’s helpful to have a Licensed real estate agent who will keep the process running smoothly. Finding an agent who has expertise in the area Home Buyer are looking is crucial.

 Real Estate agent will know the market and work to get the best deal possible. 

Buying a home also means going through a great deal of paperwork and dealing with some procedures that may be not Familiar to you, such as hiring a home inspector. 

A good Estate agent will help you organize and coordinate all the important elements of buying a home.

One way to find a real estate agent is to ask friends and family for recommendations.

When Home Buyer find a real estate agent with whom you are interested in working, he or she should be clear about his or her role in the home buying process.

How Much Can Home Buyer Borrow For A Home

What price home can Home Buyer afford?

First determine what kind of mortgage a first time Home Buyer can afford. That will help determine what price house you can afford.

Building a budget is no fun,To begin, add up all the monthly expenses other than the house payment. 
In addition to the big items -- loan payments, groceries and savings – don’t forget the little things. 
How much is spent on transportation? 
Dining out to eat?
Dry cleaning? 
The little items add up, so to really be accurate try to track every penny you spend for a week, and base your spending on that.
Keep Mortgage to 28% of income 

A simpler way to gauge how much Home Buyer can afford each month is to use a percentage of own income. A general guideline that many lenders use is that no more than 28 percent of Home Buyer's total monthly income should go toward the mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) and that no more than 36 percent of the total income should go to pay total debt, including credit cards.

Important reminder that the housing expenses go beyond the mortgage payment.
The total monthly payment will include property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. It also costs money to maintain a home, so make sure to leave a room to pay for home improvement projects and regular maintenance. If First Time Home Buyer are moving from an apartment to a home, consider the need to buy more furniture or purchase appliances. Most First Time Home Buyer find that they spend a lot more moving into their new home than they anticipated, so consider a room on the budget so you can make your new house your home.