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.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Checking Home Buyers Credit Report And Score

Checking your credit score

Before getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you should check your own credit report and score.

When buying a home, one of the first things Home Buyer should do is to check credit report and scores. Home Buyers credit score is probably the most important piece of information a lender considers when deciding on Home Buyers interest rate, so you want to be sure that everything on your credit report is correct.

Mistakes can hurt your credit score, increasing your rate and monthly payment.
To correct an error, you need to write the credit bureau, describing the problem. The credit agency must investigate the items in question, usually within 30 days. Then they will send confirmation of the corrections.

If you do decide to go ahead with buying a home even if your credit is less than perfect, it’s still important to work to rebuild your credit. Once your score improves, you can refinance your mortgage for a lower-interest loan, which could lower your monthly payments.

Monday, 2 May 2011

10 Guides For First Time Home Buyers

Step 1: Checking your credit score.
Before getting pre-approved for a mortgage, Home Buyer should check Home Buyers credit report and score.

Step 2: What price home can Home Buyer afford?
First determine what kind of mortgage 1st time Home Buyer can afford. That will help determine what price house Home Buyer can afford.

Step 3: Mortgage pre-approval,
Mortgage pre-approval not only helps Home Buyers understand the financial limit, but can also give  an advantage over other Home buyers not pre-approved.

Step 4: Finding a real estate agent.
Find a real estate agent who is familiar with the area where Home Buyer are considering to buy.

Step 5: Finding the perfect House.
Be clear with your real estate agent about what you are looking for in the perfect home.

Step 6: Making an offer on a House.
Keep these tips in mind when making an offer on your next home.

Step 7: Finding the right mortgage.
Understanding the pros and cons of the various types of loans available will help in finding the mortgage that is right for 1st time Home Buyers.

Step 8: Lock your rate and points
Understand what locking House buyers interest rate and points means. Knowing when and for how long to lock is an important part of the loan process.

Step 9: Home inspection and appraisal.
Making an offer contingent on Home Buyers prospective home passing an inspection can save Home Buyer thousands of dollars in repairs later. Home Buyer's lender will almost certainly require an appraisal to get a mortgage.

Step 10: Home closing procedure.
Be prepared at closing. Learn about the final walk-through in the 24 hours before closing as well as the home closing procedure itself.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Advantage of Mortgage pre-approval

Mortgage pre-approval not only helps Home Buyers understand the financial limit, but can also give an advantage over other buyers not pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved by a Bank before shopping for a home helps Home Buyers in two ways.

First, Mortgage Pre-Approval helps home buyer narrow down the homes under consideration because it tells  How much house they  can afford.

Second, pre-approval can give Home Buyer a leg up over other buyers after finding a home. Sellers are more likely to accept offers from Houes buyers who they know have financing secured, because the sale is more likely to close.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

7 Easy Ways to Trim Your Mortgage Costs

As with most homeowners, your mortgage payment is probably your largest monthly expense. Wouldn't it be nice to trim this huge cost and perhaps shorten the life of your loan? We have listed seven tips below to help save you money on your mortgage.

1. Add One Extra Payment Each Year
Perhaps the easiest way to save money on your mortgage is to make an extra mortgage payment each year. These extra payments are automatically applied on your principal, not interest. Not only does your remaining balance drop, but you will not have to pay interest each month on that principal for the remainder of the loan term.
2. Set up Bi-Weekly Payments
Another trick to pay off your loan early is by creating a bi-weekly payment plan. Put half of your monthly mortgage payment in a savings account every other Friday (or, on your pay day). Each month, pay your mortgage from the account. At the end of the year, you will have made 26 half payments, which is 13 full payments. This will leave with you an extra payment that you can put toward your principal. Most people manage the separate accounts themselves, but there are companies that you can hire to act as an escrow service and manage the payments for you. Beware that they could charge you for this service.

3. Get Rid of Your PMI
If your down payment was less than 20 percent, you were probably required to pay private mortgage insurance. However, you can petition your lender to cancel the insurance as soon as your mortgage balance falls below 80 percent of the home's appraised value. This can happen if your home's value has gone up or you have repaid some of the principal. This may require a new appraisal but could shave hundreds of dollars off your monthly payment.
4. Reduce Your Assessment
Property taxes can cost thousands of dollars a year. If you think your home's value has decreased in the last year and it was not properly accounted for in your tax assessment, you can petition your assessor and fight your assessment. Lowering your tax assessment will lower your yearly taxes.
5. Reset Your Mortgage
This is not commonly known, but some lenders will reset (recast) your monthly payment if you make a large payment towards the principal of your mortgage. Your monthly payment stays the same, but the term of your loan shortens. When the loan is recast, your monthly principal and interest is recalculated so you end up with a lower monthly payment over the existing term of the loan.
6. Modify Your Loan
If you are late on your payments and are going through a financial hardship, you may be eligible to modify terms of your loan (such as rate, term, or principal balance) to make it more affordable. The goal of these programs is to allow borrowers to stay in their homes and continue making their monthly payments. Not everyone qualifies for these types of programs, but if you do, they can save you a lot of money. To find out if you qualify, contact the servicer of your mortgage.
7. Refinance
Lastly, the most common way to save money on your mortgage is by refinancing to a lower interest rate. Reducing your rate can lower your monthly payment and help you save on interest payments. However, there are costs associated with refinancing so you want to be sure you are going to save enough to cover the refinancing fees. With rates at historic lows, if you can refinance, and you haven't already, you should consider it.

9 Great Reasons to Consider in Choosing a Financial Mortgage

Buying a Home is a Big Decision.

When buying your first home, you want the lowest rate, but you also want to know that you have all the information you need to make the right decisions

            9 Great Reasons to Consider in Choosing a  Financial mortgage.

1. Great low rates up front.

2. Option to earn free rewards.

3. Up to 120 day rate guarantee.

4. Generous prepayment privileges to help pay down the mortgage faster.

5. Several mortgage products to choose from.

6. A dedicated Mortgage Specialist to help.

7. A process that you can complete from the comfort of home or office.

8. Best rate offered upon Mortgage Renewal.

9. Extended amortization periods up to 30 years.

Shop around for maximum Savings.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Why Getting Pre-Approval is so Important

Securing Pre-Approval is Very  Important

One of the first steps in buying your home is obtaining a pre-approved mortgage. With a pre-approved mortgage you will:

Know how much you can afford and what your payments will be.

Lock in your interest rate at current rate (or lower if rates drop), guaranteed for 120 days.

Demonstrate to vendors and their agents that you are a serious buyer, which can help when negotiating your purchase.

Start with your own bank then progressing to lower interest offered by other institution.