Is It The Right Time For Me To Buy A Home?

Are you going to rent or buy, that is the question. Many people struggle with this question each and every day. It is a hard one but there are ways to determine if now is the right time to buy. Here are just a few facts that will help you make an educated decision about your home buying quandary.

Fact #1 – Mortgage Rates Can Go Up In A New York Minute. If you keep telling yourself that you are going to wait until the rates go a little lower then you may be in for a rude awakening. Interest rates can and do go up at a moment’s notice and if you have not committed to your decision to buy a home now, it could ultimately cost you thousands of dollars in interest over the next 30 years!

Fact #2 – Rental Prices Keep Rising. The longer the housing market is in a slump the higher it drives prices on all rental properties. No matter whether it is a rental home or an apartment you are going to pay dearly for that rental that you don’t really like all that much. Talk about throwing your money away each month. Wouldn’t you rather put all of that money into your home (and pocket) instead of someone else’s?

Fact #3 – You Have A Stable Career. Buying a home is a long term endeavor and you should estimate that you will be staying in the same geographic location for the next seven to ten years before deciding if now is the right time for you to buy a home.

Fact #4 – Do You Have Enough Time At Your Current Job? Most lenders will require that you have been at your current job for two years or at least in the same industry. However, that is the bare minimum of what you will need.

Fact #5 – Plan Ahead. You should look to the future when buying your next home. Since you will be in that home for approximately seven to ten years you will need to think about what your needs will be in the future. How much space will you need? Leave yourself enough room to grow. Can you afford to buy a home that will suit your needs now and in the foreseeable future?

Buying a new home is a huge decision that will require you to really think about your long term financial and lifestyle future. When you get to the place in your life where you can realistically project your financial goals and personal needs seven to ten years out then this might be the perfect time for you to buy your dream home.

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How To Buy A Home That Has Resale Value

Buying a home, for most people, is one of the largest investments they will make in their lifetime.   So it only stands to reason that you choose a home that is going to give you a good return on your investment when it’s time for you to move into another home.  A home that’s more suited to your growing family or changing lifestyle.   By the time you are finished reading this article, you will have a good idea of what to look for in a home and neighborhood.  Things that indicate you have found a home that will increase in value.

1.  Smaller and mid priced homes generally have a better resale value than large homes.

2.  Location, location, location.  How many times have you heard that?  Probably because it’s true.  Buy a home in a location that is convenient to major thoroughfares, necessities and conveniences.  Important things such as easy access to a highway, a popular grocery store, gas stations, childcare, banks, dry cleaners and plenty of watering holes where people like to hang out.

3.  A good school district is another huge deciding factor for many people.

4.  Research the area and neighborhood crime.  A safe environment  is very important.  Talk with the police and some of the people in the neighborhood to see if they like living there and feel safe.

5.  The house must have a good, workable floorplan.  One that’s not choppy and claustrophobic.  A floorplan that will easily fit most reasonable furniture.  A house that’s not dark and has lots of sunlight is also important.

6.  Try to find a home with a minimum of three bedrooms and at least two full bathrooms.   Homes that are smaller than that generally don’t resell as well, depending on where you live and if the other homes in that neighborhood are all similar in size and layout.

7.  How are the amenities?  Everyone wants amenities.  Does it have lots of cabinet space, big closets, plenty of storage, etc?

8.  Most people prefer a home with at least a two car garage.

9.  How high are the property taxes for that neighborhood?  Try to find a neighborhood with the lowest possible property taxes.  The higher the property tax, the higher the mortgage payments will be.

10. Is the neighborhood in decline?  Look closely and talk to your realtor for advice.  The neighborhood may look ok but there may be some subtle indications that it’s in a slow decline.  You want to buy a home that is in an up and coming neighborhood, otherwise you will lose money when it comes time to sell.

Let your realtor know what your needs are and  what type of area and neighborhood you would like to live.  Your realtor has the experience it takes to recognize a good neighborhood from a declining neighborhood and will guide you in the right direction.

Buying A Second Home

Buying a second home – should you or shouldn’t you – that is the question.  Well, buying a second home could very well be the absolute best thing you have ever done but you have to do it for the right reasons.  Let’s talk about a few of the things you need to consider before making any quick decisions.

First you must ask yourself why you want to purchase a second home.  Is it to invest in your future?  Is it to use for a vacation home?  Are you doing it for an additional income?  The answer to these questions is critical so let’s look at all of the facts.

If you are buying a second home as rental property to use as part of your retirement plan then you have made the right decision.  Buying a home forces you to make regular savings in the form of a mortgage payment each month and that is money in the bank when it comes to a retirement fund.

You must make sure,however, that you have enough money to cover the mortgage payments plus any additional expenses such as repairs, yearly taxes and insurance, if they are not a part of your mortgage payment, and anything else that may arise.  The good news is if you buy the right house at the right price, your rental property should always stay rented.

Another reason a second home as part of your retirement plan is a good idea is due to the fact that your investment money is subject to less income tax and the interest and taxes may be deductible.   So planning ahead could pay off in a big way.

Housing, for the most part, appreciates over time.  There are definitely ups and downs in the housing market but buying a home is a long term investment that can ride those tides very well.  A home is an inflation proof investment.

The experts have predicted that both fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages will probably remain in the single digits for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, financing a home with a nominal down payment should remain achievable for quite some time.

Buying a home is very exciting and can be a very profitable experience but your decision cannot be made lightly.  It is wise to give a lot of thought to why you want a second home, then make a financial plan and stick to it.

If you have some disposable income, then purchasing a vacation home may be just what you need to add a little spice to your life.  Then by all means, go ahead and find the perfect house, buy it and enjoy.

Whatever the reason you want or need a second home, please think about your reasons, make a plan and follow through.  It is also advisable to talk to a real estate agent about all of your options before diving in.  A real estate agent can help you make the best decisions and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

A Basement Remodel – Is It Worth It?

A basement remodel is it worth it?  Yes!  Most definitely!  A basement remodel will give you about a 70%-87%  return on your investment.  A basement remodel is a great way to add living space to your existing home without the cost and hassle of having to build a room addition.

Basements are very common in the North and not very common in the South and West.  So your return on investment will vary depending on where you live.  If you live in the North, a basement remodel will generally bring you 15%-17% less on your return than if you were to do the same remodel somewhere else where basements are not as common.

The biggest potential problem you could face with your basement remodel is moisture.  You need to make sure that your basement does not have a moisture problem before you begin your remodel.  Leaks, condensation or the potential of flooding must be corrected before you can even think about converting your basement.It is much harder to fix moisture issues such as mold after they have occurred than it would have been to just fix them before hand.  Once your home has been labeled as having a mold issue, you will have a hard time selling it without having to jump through hoops.

Tip 1: Don’t Start to Work Until You Know It’s Dry

Before you do any kind of finished work on a basement, make sure there won’t be any water issues that could cause damage. Go outside and inspect the exterior walls for moisture problems. Make sure the ground is sloped away from the foundation walls. Also, check the downspouts, if they’re clogged, it could be create a lot of moisture and bring it into the basement.

Tip 2: Check the Code Before You Pound a Nail

Once you have a design plan and you’ve checked for moisture, the next thing you should do is find out whether you need to get a permit for the proposed renovation. Also, make sure that everything pertaining to electrical work is done to code.

Tip 3: Put Some Furring on Your Walls

Install furring strips on the wall so you’ll have a 1/2-inch of space between the interior wall and the moisture on the outside wall. You can use a Chicago bar, which is basically 1/2-inch thick metal strips.

Tip 4: Keep the Vapor Out and the Warmth In

Polyurethane sheeting is great for keeping moisture from seeping in. Consider insulation that’s completely enclosed in a vapor barrier, it is easy to work with since you don’t have to deal with itchy insulation fibers

Tip 5: Give Your Lighting a Recess

Recessed lighting is great for basements since you don’t want fixtures hanging from a low ceiling. Because there’s limited natural light, basement lighting is essential to brighten up the place.

Tip 6: Build Up the Floor Before You Lay Anything Down

Since the basement is below ground, it gets a lot of coolness and moisture, so you need to warm it up. Put down a vapor barrier to protect the space between the wood and the cement. Next, lay 2x4s and frame it every 16 inches. Lay a strip, and between the 2x4s, place an insulation board and a piece of 3/4″ plywood on top. This type of floor is giving and resilient, and it’s warm enough that you can walk barefoot on it.

Triple your Amount of Real Estate Deals

First order of business, is to gain leads and market your brand, and be able to negotiate with sellers to get deals done.

Your Attitude

What is your purpose in this business? It is to help others, teach others and educate other. Many people need a real estate agent because they do not understand the market themselves, you are there to open the doors for them to this new world. Understand what you want and what the seller wants . A simple question you can ask the seller is, “What would like to see happen?” By knowing exactly what their expectations are you know exactly what your goal is and how to reach it.

Build Rapport with the Sellers

Rapport- Noun

A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.

Basically build a connection with the sellers, it is not all business, these families are trying to sell a home which can be very emotional for them. If they feel a connection, their more likely to pick you if there are multiple offers on the table. Find things you have in common with the sellers, look at their house; compliment them on what you love about the home. Establishing a level of trust will help you accomplish your goals, and also make your reputation for yourself a good one. Take classes and educate yourself on becoming a better negotiator, the keys to negotiating is Sympathy, Empathy, and Compassion.

The Dirty Word…Real Estate Investor
This tip Rubels says is to never use the word “investor” when negotiating with the seller. He believes Investors have been badly portrayed by the media, as people who steal, and take advantage of people in financial troubles. Although this is not true, you are trying to connect with your seller, and by saying your an Investing company, screams to the seller that you want to tare there house apart and sell it for more than they purchased it for fast.  Rubels suggests instead of investor, try using provider of housing solutions or try to come up with something more friendly.

Their House is their prized possession
People become emotionally attached to their homes, this is where their kids were born and grew up. This is their first home they bought together when they were young. So don’t disrespect their home by saying it is ugly, try saying “ready to renovate” or “ready for your new touches” rather than “old” or “worn-down”. Great negotiation skills will make the difference.

Our biggest advice is to educate your selves, you should never stop reading up on the Market/Real Estate or News or going to classes and attending seminars it will only benefit you & your business. Just this week our team went to Las Vegas to attend the Luxury Homes Retreat, the more we continue to educate ourselves the better we can perform & deliver.