If you’ve decided it’s time to buy your first home, you’ll probably want to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that can help.
Do plenty of research
First, determine what type of property you want, specifying your criteria for the location, type of dwelling, and year of construction. You should also get a sense of what’s out there by searching real estate websites and walking around the area where you want to buy.
Learn how credit works
It’s important to be aware of the things that can have a positive or negative impact on your credit rating. By being careful about your financial decisions, you can maximize your score and make the most of it when the time comes to secure a mortgage.
Look into homeownership programs
From financial assistance to tax credits and rebates, there are a number of programs designed to make buying your first home easier. Find out which ones are available in your area and whether you’re eligible.
Familiarize yourself with the process
If you understand what’s required to purchase a home, you’ll likely be more at ease and better prepared for each step of the transaction.
Consider all the costs
In addition to the price of the home, there are several other expenses that come with buying a property. These may include mortgage insurance, sales tax, closing costs, and moving fees.
Set aside money for contingencies
Even if you have a home inspected before you buy it (which is strongly encouraged), unpleasant surprises can still occur. Working these expenses into your budget beforehand can save you a lot of worries.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage
This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to borrow for a home and help you narrow your search. Keep in mind that getting pre-approved doesn’t guarantee you the loan, and you’ll need to take further steps to obtain it.
Shop around for a mortgage
Different lenders may offer varying interest rates for the same mortgage. Ask them directly or, to save time and gain access to exclusive products, enlist the help of a mortgage broker.
Finally, keep in mind that any time you’re looking to buy a property, a real estate agent is your best ally.
Pros and cons of buying a home near a school
Have you found a home that meets all your needs but is located near a school? To determine if you should make an offer, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of living next to this type of institution.
Your neighborhood will probably have a number of safety features if it’s in a school zone. Among other things, the speed limit is likely to be more restricted than it is on other streets, and there may be crosswalk guards posted at busy intersections.
If you have children who are the right age, they can attend school. What’s more, they can easily walk to and from the building, and your family may be able to use the schoolyard as a playground on evenings and weekends.
Another major advantage of living near a school is that your home is likely to have a higher resale value than comparable properties located elsewhere.
If you live near a school, you may have to put up with a fair amount of traffic at times when children are dropped off and picked up. Similarly, events such as recitals and parent-teacher meetings are likely to lead to an increase in traffic and parked cars in the area.
In addition, the sound of the bell and noise coming from the schoolyard might be annoying. Also, keep in mind that living near a school means there’ll often be children near your property. This can hinder your privacy and make the neighborhood feel more hectic.
To determine if living near a school is right for you, carefully weigh these pros and cons.
Selling your home before you move: pros and cons
If you’re planning to move into a seniors’ residence, you may be wondering whether you should sell your home before you make the change. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of doing so that you may want to consider.
If you sell your home before you move, you’ll save yourself the stress and pressure of trying to complete the transaction quickly once you’re settled into your new abode. In addition, you’ll get the money sooner and can use it to decorate your new place.
In addition, you’ll avoid needing to pay the mortgage and maintenance fees on your old home while also covering the cost of the rent.
If you sell your home before you move, you may have to live there during any renovations that are needed. In addition, you’ll likely have to adjust your schedule to accommodate showings.
Furthermore, if you find a buyer for your home before the unit in your residence becomes available, you’ll need to either temporarily pay rent to stay in your old place or secure an alternative living arrangement in the interim.
Selling a property involves many steps and a lot of paperwork. To simplify the process, be sure to enlist the help of a real estate agent.
How to avoid buying a house that might be haunted
If horror movies aren’t your cup of tea, you might not want to move into a house that’s rumored to be haunted. Here are some tips to help you avoid unintentionally buying a property with a reputation for paranormal activity.
Ask if the property is stigmatized
Depending on the state, the seller might be required to disclose certain information about the property’s history. A house can be considered stigmatized if death or crime occurred on the premises. In some cases, the seller is only required to disclose this information if asked by a potential buyer.
Do your own research
Use the property’s address to search online for newspaper articles, historical documents, and other local records. These sources might reveal information about a suspicious death that occurred on the property. You might also be able to find out if the house was built on an old cemetery or battlefield.
Talk to the neighbors
If you see any of the neighbors outside during your visit to the home, ask if they’d be willing to answer a few questions about the property. They might be able to give you some information, especially if they’ve lived in the area for a long time.
Look into the history of the house
Has the property been bought and sold several times in the past few years? Has it lost a lot of value during that period? These types of changes could indicate that something strange is going on with the home, so be sure to make inquiries if this is the case.
Finally, don’t hesitate to talk to your real estate agent about your concerns. A realtor can help you find out what you need to know to make an informed decision.
3 myths about green homes
Are you interested in buying an eco-friendly property? If so, it’s important to have all the facts. Here are some common misconceptions about green homes.
1. Only new homes can be green
Older homes can be made more eco-friendly by replacing the plumbing and electrical systems, upgrading the windows and doors and improving the insulation. Purchasing Energy Star certified appliances is also a good idea.
2. Eco-friendly homes are in the middle of nowhere
While you might prefer to live off-grid, there are plenty of eco-friendly homes located in cities that use municipal electric, water and gas servi¬ces. What makes these homes more sustainable is that they consume less energy than their counterparts.
3. Green homes are utilitarian
If you want to buy an eco-friendly home, you don’t have to choose between beauty and sustainability. In fact, many green homes are quite attractive due to their thoughtful design and use of natural materials.
To find out more about the eco-friendly homes in your area, contact a local real estate agent.
If you can’t afford to move right now, consider making small changes to your current home to make it more eco-friendly. Even simple modifications like replacing your shower head and light bulbs with greener alternatives can make a difference.
Warren County Market Report – October 2021
Happy Thanksgiving, Warren County! Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for October 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play.
In general summary:
- New Listings are DOWN -23.6%.
- New Pending DOWN -11%.
- Closed sales are DOWN -15.7%
- Average Median Sold $300,950 September / $327,000 October
- Average Days on Market 20 September / 32 October
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: October 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated November 2021.
Jennifer Avery, REALTOR® “Your Happy Home Expert!”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC| 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
Big bargains lurk in ghostly properties
If you think Lizzie Borden with her ax is scary, imagine you are the real estate agent trying to sell her house. Haunted houses can be a tough sell, but some buyers can make a killing on a home with a creepy past.
According to a 2019 poll by YouGov, 45 percent of people they interviewed believe in ghosts and the same number believe in demons. While you do have to disclose a leaky roof, you may not have to disclose a ghost when selling. The law firm Kious, Rodgers, Barger, Holder & King, PLLC writes that in Minnesota and Massachusetts, it is unnecessary to disclose if the house is haunted by paranormal activity or the supernatural; in New Jersey, a seller must disclose it only if asked; and in New York, a seller is not obligated to share the information with a buyer unless they have already shared the opinion with the public at large.
Nonetheless, if confronted with a nice home with an icky history, would you buy it?
What if a great townhome was on the California market in a fantastic neighborhood at a stunningly low price with a highly motivated seller? But there is a reason the price is so low–this is the townhome of Nicole Brown Simpson, whose gruesome murder was tried in the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. Would you buy it? Someone did and the house sold for $200,000 off the asking price.
It’s not just violence and spirits that can stigmatize a home. In some states, it must be disclosed if a house for sale once had a methamphetamine lab, mainly because former customers could drop by or chemicals could remain. Even homeowners in a lot of debt can cause some stigma when they sell because the new owners could be targeted by debt collectors.
Some stigma can be enduring. Homeowners around one stigmatized property actually changed the name of the street. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult killed themselves awaiting an alien spacecraft. You won’t find their notorious address anymore and you won’t find the $1.6 million home either. The landlord tried to sell, but could not. The lender finally sold it for less than $700,000 and it was bulldozed.
According to real estate consultant Bell Anderson & Saunders, a buyer of a stigmatized home can expect from 10 to 25 percent off-market prices.
Some buyers make a name on homes with a creepy past. The legend of Lizzie Borden lives on in her home at 92 Second St., Fall River, Mass., now a bed and breakfast. And you’ll feel very cozy when you read the motto: Where everyone is treated like family. Oh, wait…