Our Real Estate Blog
As a homebuyer, it is important to set high expectations. At the same time, a homebuyer must act reasonably, or he or she risks missing out on a golden opportunity to acquire the perfect residence.
Ultimately, becoming a reasonable homebuyer can be quick and easy – here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Establish Realistic Expectations for the Homebuying Journey
The homebuying journey sometimes can take weeks or months to complete, and a homebuyer should plan accordingly. By doing so, a homebuyer can prepare for any potential homebuying pitfalls.
For example, a homebuyer may submit an offer on a home and receive a "Yes" from a home seller. But if a home inspector discovers myriad problems with a residence, a homebuyer may need to walk away from the house and restart the homebuying journey.
In the aforementioned scenario, a homebuyer may become frustrated and annoyed, and for good reason. Conversely, if a homebuyer understands the challenges associated with buying a house, he or she can plan for the best- and worst-case scenarios.
2. Search for Homes That Fall Within Your Price Range
Have you established a budget for your home search? If not, you may wind up focusing on houses that you won't be able to afford.
Get pre-approved for a home loan – you'll be glad you did. With a home loan in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a homebuying budget. Then, you'll be able to narrow your home search to houses that fall within your price range, thereby speeding up your search for the ideal residence.
It won't take long to get pre-approved for a home loan, either. In fact, if you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can instantly learn about a variety of home loan options.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Although you know that you want to buy a house, you have no idea what to expect during the homebuying journey. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can learn what it takes to stay calm, cool and collected as you search for a house.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who takes pride in his or her work. As such, a real estate agent will be available to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions, ensuring that you can make an informed home purchase.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to eliminate homebuying hurdles.
For instance, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can avoid the stress of negotiating a home price. Or, if you need help finding a qualified home inspector, real estate attorney or other local professionals, your real estate agent can provide honest, unbiased recommendations.
Be reasonable as you kick off your search for your dream residence. That way, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey and improve your chances of acquiring a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Ultimately, there is no surefire amount that you should spend on a house. The real estate market varies in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, the prices of houses fall across a broad range. Also, the condition and age of a house – as well as a homebuyer's budget – may dictate how much an individual is willing to spend on a particular residence.
As you search for your dream house, it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. Because if you have a homebuying strategy in place, you can determine exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your finances in order before you kick off a house search.
1. Check Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, your credit score may have far-flung effects on your homebuying budget. And if you fail to review your credit score before you embark on a house search, you may miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream house.
A low credit score may make it tough to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal residence. Thus, you may want to check your credit score and find ways to improve it before you begin a house search.
You won't have to break your budget to get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In fact, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the aforementioned credit bureaus. Request a copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score.
Of course, if your credit score is low, you can always improve it by paying off outstanding debt. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau that provided the report so that you can get these issues corrected.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval for a mortgage makes it easy to enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage sooner rather than later.
Remember, banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. Don't hesitate to ask these specialists about assorted mortgage options, and you can select a mortgage that perfectly matches your finances.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can make it simple to pursue your dream house. This housing market professional will help you narrow the price range for your dream house and ensure you can discover the perfect house without delay. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home.
Ready to start a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can simultaneously look for your dream house and avoid the risk of paying too much to purchase your dream residence.
We live in a world of convenience and endless choices. To watch a TV show, you can find it on cable, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more. Sometimes, all of these options make it easy to spend more than necessary on monthly services.
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, one way to save a bit more each month is to cut corners wherever possible.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some tips that will help you start saving toward the down payment on your first home.
Cutting down on monthly services
They’re enticing, the myriad of entertainment services that we can now take advantage of. For a seemingly low monthly cost you can have hundreds of channels through cable. However, many cable users have noticed that their cable bill keeps creeping up each year and the service doesn’t get any better.
One way to start saving more each month is to ditch cable altogether. For news and the weather, there are many websites available. And, some local news stations stream live on their websites for free.
But, what about watching your favorite TV shows and movies? One of the world’s best kept secrets is that of interlibrary loans. Most public libraries are part of a system that allows you to get books, games, movies, and TV shows shipped to your local library for free. You simply reserve the latest season of Game of Thrones and wait for an email from your library.
Another issue many people have with monthly entertainment services is their tendency to add up. Reassess your monthly bills. If you’re paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, do you really need all three?
Be smart about your savings
To save effectively, make sure your savings account is seeing a high return on its interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher returns than their brick & mortar counterparts, and most people don’t need to make regular visits to a bank anymore anyway.
Similarly, for credit cards, choose one with cashback rewards. Only use your credit card for necessities, like groceries and gas. Then, pay off each statement in full each month. Once you get your rewards, use them for more groceries and gas or put them in your down payment savings account, if possible.
Don’t forget about CDs (certificates of deposit)
One of the most effective ways of saving for a down payment is a certificate of deposit. CDs are perfect for down payments because you aren’t able to withdraw from them until they have matured--i.e., until you’ve reached your savings goal. They can be set for 6 months, a year, or more, and they tend to have higher returns than savings accounts.
Using a combination of these methods will help you start saving more each month so you can achieve your dream of owning a home sooner.
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Time spent in the kitchen is almost always well worth the results at mealtime. But why spend more time in the apron than necessary when you could be spending time with the family or just relaxing. These five culinary accessories are designed to streamline the chef’s experience and help minimize food preparation and cleanup.
1. Food Processor
Considered a staple in any kitchen, a food processor is a wonderful countertop appliance that can accomplish countless culinary tasks quickly and efficiently. Most food processors come with an assortment of blades and accessories that allows cooks to chop vegetables, blend creamy fillings, make smooth sauces, grind, puree, shred and slice many kinds of foods. There are models that allow for mincing meats, kneading dough and even making juice. A food processor makes eating fresh, homemade foods a breeze.
2. Pressure Cooker
The electric pressure cooker is a long treasured appliance in kitchens around the globe—and for good reason. Not only can it replace other space-hogging tools like crockpots and rice cookers, but a good quality pressure cooker will cook an array of healthy foods (and even treats) far more quickly than traditional methods. Pressure cookers cook rice, pastas, beans, potatoes, meats, and specialty models are often designed to tackle tasks including boiling eggs, making yogurt and sautéing food. Craving oatmeal or a dessert like bread pudding? It can be whipped up quickly in a pressure cooker.
3. Air Fryer
Get fresh-out-the fryer crispy results without dealing with the mess and risks of grease. Not only will an air fryer provide the same results of a traditional oil fryer, but the foods that result are far healthier. Air fryers uses superheated air that circulates around the food in an extra-hot cooking chamber that penetrates foods from the outside in. Whip up crispy battered meats and vegetables and even a few cleverly chosen desserts without smelling up the house or creating a big mess of grease spatters with an air fryer. Some models even come with side ovens, making them a compact countertop appliance well worth the space.
4. Salad Spinner
Salad spinners are commonly used in commercial kitchens, and you should add one to your kitchen gadget collection, too. These wonderful machines are a simple two or three piece design that consists of a bowl, colander basket and lid with a handle crank. More than just a spinning device to dry out greens, veggies, pastas and fruits, spinners can also wash these foods with ease. Fresh herbs, mushrooms and tender foods will be protected, so less bruising and waste results.
5. High-Powered Blender
Most commonly recognized as the ultimate smoothie and milkshake maker, a quality high-powered blender can do far more than blend creamy drinks. This appliance can be used to make nut butter, sauces, soups, dips and even churn out fresh cream. Need to grind oats, quinoa or transform cane sugar into powder? No problem with a high-powered blender. As a bonus, the high speed of the motor gets warm enough to heat and cook certain foods as they blend.
Go ahead and treat yourself to these kitchen essentials, and streamline your culinary experiences in your new abode.