Ready to take the plunge and finally purchase your dream house? Here are seven key steps to become a homeowner.
1. Set a budget
Start by figuring out how much you can realistically afford to pay for a new home. Remember that mortgage payments aren’t the only expenses you’ll have to consider; you’ll also need to pay for utilities, property taxes, home insurance and repairs.
2. Save for the down payment
3. Find the mortgage that’s right for you
Mortgages depend on the amount you’re able to pay upfront (the down payment) and the length of time you’ll have to pay the loan back. Before you start house hunting, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage by your bank or mortgage broker. During the pre-approval process, the lender determines the amount you qualify for. Sellers will be more receptive to your offer if you’re pre-approved.
4. Choose a real estate agent
Your real estate agent is your guide through the home buying process. Take the time to interview at least three different agents who have a thorough knowledge of the housing market in your area before choosing one who’s a good fit in terms of your needs and personality.
5. Start house hunting
As you tour different homes, make sure to keep a list of all the features you’re looking for during
the visits and take notes so you can keep track of your impressions. You should also make a list of questions to ask your agent about each property.
6. Make an offer
When you find the home of your dreams, you’ll need to prepare a written offer in consultation with your agent specifying how much you’re willing to pay. It’s recommended that your offer include certain contingencies like the right to have the home appraised and inspected before completing the transaction.
7. Finalize the deal
Once you’ve settled on a price, you’ll be able to start making closing arrangements, such as finalizing the payment and mortgage terms. On closing day, the final documents will be signed and you’ll receive the deed and the keys to your new home.
How to safely dispose of burned out light bulbs
When a light bulb burns out, you may wonder whether to toss it in the trash or take it to your local recycling center. However, the best action to take depends entirely on the type of light bulb you’re throwing out.
When a standard light bulb burns out, you can put it in the garbage with the rest of your household waste. The thin glass and metal wires are almost impossible to separate for recycling.
Compact fluorescent lights (CFL)
Light-emitting diode (LED) lights
LED lights don’t technically burn out like other bulbs, but they do dim over time. When this happens, you can safely discard them in the trash as they don’t contain mercury like CFL bulbs do. You can also check with your local recycling center to see if they accept this type of bulb.
Regardless of the type of light bulb, take care to wrap it in paper before you throw it away. This way you’ll avoid the possibility of someone getting injured by the broken glass.
Many hardware store chains have recycling boxes for CFL bulbs as well as batteries, left over paint and other things that can’t safely be thrown out. Check your local hardware store to see if they offer this service.
4 ways to get your outdoor living space ready for summer
Now that the warmer weather has arrived, it’s time to set up your outdoor living space for the season. But before you bring out the patio furniture, you should attend to these four tasks.
1. Wash your windows. Clean the frames and glass, and don’t forget to give the screens a scrub as well. You should also inspect the caulking around your windows and doors. If there are any cracks, apply new caulking
2. Get your deck ready. Clean your patio or deck and check for loose boards or anything else that looks like it needs to be fixed. Make repairs, then sand and seal wood surfaces.
3. Examine exterior surfaces. Inspect your siding for damage and ensure your foundation is free of cracks that might have formed over the winter. If you see any peeling paint on your shutters or window frames, make plans to have them painted.
4. Inspect your barbecue. Look out for signs of damage. Clear off spider webs, clean the grill and make sure animals haven’t nibbled on the gas line.
Once you’re done with the above, it’s time to set up your outdoor furniture. Give chairs, tables and loungers a good cleaning, then sit back, relax and enjoy soaking up the sun.
Warren County Market Report – May 2019
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for May 2019. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- Closed sales are UP by 13.8% compared to this time last year
- Average Median Sold $254,750.
- Average Days on Market 66
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to Jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com.
Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated June 2019
Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
“Your Happy Home Expert”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
Virtual reality: the future of real estate
Virtual reality (VR) is a powerful tool that’s revolutionizing the real estate industry. It refers to the computer simulation of three-dimensional environments that can be interacted with by a person. Here are three key applications of VR in the real estate industry.
1. Virtual property tours. VR can be used to allow people to virtually tour countless properties from one location. By simply putting on a VR headset, you’ll be able to experience immersive, 3D walkthroughs of dozens of properties so you can decide which ones are worth visiting in person.
2. Virtual home staging. Studies show that furnished homes sell better than unfurnished ones, but investing in furniture and decor for staging an empty house is costly. Using VR technology allows you to experience what a property will look like when it’s completely furnished.
3. VR architectural visualization. VR can also be used to market properties that haven’t been built yet, such as new condo developments. With VR tours, interested buyers can see what the homes will eventually look like.
VR in real estate is a game changer for buyers and agents alike. For buyers, it saves time and allows them to browse for homes across great distances. For real estate agents, VR tools pay off in terms of heightened global outreach, increased sales and more satisfied clients. It’s predicted that VR will become commonly used in the real estate business in the years to come.
iBuyers: are they worth the convenience?
Instant homebuyer companies, also known as iBuyers, are tech companies that buy homes directly from sellers online and then put them back on the market. Without even visiting your home, iBuyers will make you an instant cash offer using a proprietary valuation model. If you accept the offer, you can close the sale in a few days.
While the appeal of selling your house to an iBuyer is understandable, the instant bids they offer may not be worth the associated convenience.
Keep in mind that though iBuyers claim to offer the full value of your home, the bids they make are typically below fair market value (in case they can’t resell the property at the full price). They also charge a fee for conducting the transaction, which is often higher than the standard brokerage fee.
Additionally, the bids iBuyers make on homes are generally lower than what the seller would get from working with a real estate agent. Experienced agents often get as much as 125 percent of a home’s fair market value.
What’s more, these companies strategically appeal to sellers who are in distress. They target people who’ve been unable to sell their homes or have expired listings. Those who are divorcing, in bankruptcy or have homes in foreclosure are also easy marks. Because the sellers are in difficult situations, they’re more likely to accept lowball offers.
Though selling your home to an iBuyer may seem like a good idea, you’ll gain far more from working with an experienced listing agent. A skilled realtor can help you sell your home at, or above, the property’s fair market value.
Taking the temperature of the housing market: hot versus cold markets
If you’re getting ready to buy or sell your home, it’s important to check the temperature of the housing market in your area to make sure the timing is optimal. Here’s what you need to know about how supply and demand determines market temperature.
The housing market is cold when there’s more supply than demand. This is the best time to buy because there are more homes available than buyers looking to purchase them. This means that you’ll have a greater selection to choose from and that sellers will be more willing to negotiate a lower price. You may even be able to purchase your dream home for less than the listing price. For all the above reasons, cold markets are also known as buyer’s markets.
A neutral market is when supply and demand are in equilibrium. It won’t favor either buyers or sellers.
Supply and demand in real estate markets is measured in terms of Months of Inventory (MOI). MOI is calculated by dividing the number of homes that were for sale during the past month by the number of homes that were sold during this time period. The resulting number is an estimate of how long it will take to sell all the homes for sale.
In a cold market, the MOI is six months or more. In a hot market the MOI is six months or less. During a neutral market, three to six months’ worth of inventory is on the market.