Carpet. What separates us from the animals. There’s an aura of civilized living to a carpeted room. A warmth. Though wood-flooring maybe have become a more popular flooring option, you still probably prefer carpet in certain rooms like a bedroom or personal office. It’s just cozier.
But not all carpets are the same. Going from this article from DIY Network, you can break carpets into two different types: loop pile and cut pile.
Loop pile means the fibers are bent into little loops. It’s durable and stain resistant. Ideal for a spot in the house with high foot-traffic.
Cut pile carpets cut the yarn tips so there aren’t any loops. These carpets tend to be denser and softer.
You can dig deeper into the different types of both loop and cut pile, but here’s my suggestion: consider the type of room you’re carpeting. If it’s your bonus room or basement where there will be lots of foot traffic and more likely for spills, then you’re better off looking at loop pile. If the room is the opposite: low traffic and lesslikely to messy, such as a personal office, then go with cut pile.
Carpet will always be an option in our homes. It provides a comfy atmosphere. So that’s decided. Now you just want to make sure you’re picking the best carpet for your home. Read more about the types of carpet here.
After over a year and half of looking, we found it! We found the home that we love, made an offer and the offer was accepted. Next came the inspections and appraisal…check and check. Our final to-do before closing is the final walk through. I understand that the goal of the walk through is to ensure the property’s condition hasn’t changed since our last visit and that the repairs have been made to satisfy the terms of our contract. But, what exactly do I need to look for?
Unsure of what to expect I did some “googling” and came across this Zillow article. Below is the checklist they suggest:
1. A final walk-through isn’t a home inspection. You’ve already done that by now (or should have).
2. Take your contract with you. You might need to refer to it while on site.
3. In many markets, the buyers and sellers never actually meet in person. But if everyone is agreeable to the idea, perform the final walk-through in the seller’s presence. He or she knows the home better than anyone else and should be able to answer your questions and provide some color on the history of the home.
4. If the home is vacant, it’s even more important to do a final walk-through. Since your last visit, for instance, someone might have left a faucet dripping, inadvertently causing water damage.
5. Take along a checklist of things to do during the final walk-through, including:
6. Check the exterior of the home, especially if there have been strong wind or rain storms since your last visit.
7. Turn all light fixtures on and off.
8. Make sure the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures, such as chandeliers, that he or she agreed to leave behind.
9. Check all major appliances.
10. Turn heat and/or air conditioning on and off.
For more, visit here.
Thanks MIBOR for the great article!
We all believe buying a home for the first time is the hardest thing until we have to buy and sell at the same time!
If you’re looking to graduate from first-timer to repeat buyer, you know things are about to get much trickier. Unless you’re a bona fide house collector, you’ll have to sell your home in order to buy anew—adding a whole separate layer of anxiety to what you already know is a stressful home-buying process.
Realtor.com gives us some great tips on how to manage buying and selling without losing your mind.
- Know the market
Before you start seriously searching for a new home—or put your current home on the market—make sure you have a solid understanding of the housing market in your area (and the area where you’re planning to buy).
Ask your real estate agent: Is the market weighted toward buyers or sellers? Only then will you be able to fully strategize. In real estate, your best plan of action may depending on whether sellers or buyers are in the more powerful position.
- Plan your schedule carefully
You might be asking: Should you try to buy first, then sell—or vice versa? Both have their risks and rewards.
Selling first makes getting a mortgage easier, but it also means you’ll need to find a temporary place to live.
Buying first means that moving will be easier, but it also skews your debt-to-income ratio, making it harder to qualify for a new mortgage—not to mention the difficulty of juggling two monthly house payments.
- Know your financial solutions
For those who choose to sell first, the process is relatively straightforward: taking on the additional cost of a rental between homes.
However, you might want to consider the option of a rent-back agreement, where you negotiate with the lenders and buyers to be able to remain in the property for a maximum of 60 to 90 days—often in exchange for a lower selling price or for rent paid to the buyers.
This can relieve some of the pressure of finding a new home, giving you additional time to house hunt.
But if you’re buying first, talk to your Realtor about ways to decrease your financial burden and risk.
- Don’t let fear rush you
If your home has sold but you haven’t found a new place to live, don’t let anxiety push you toward a bad decision.
For more, visit here
Most potential home buyers wait to talk to a mortgage lender until they’re ready to buy. Makes sense, right? Why bother digging up your financial statements and filling out a bunch of paperwork if you’re not going to buy right away?
If buying a home is one of your long-term goals, you may be doing yourself a disservice by not talking to a lender sooner rather than later. The goal of any good mortgage lender is to help you get “mortgage-ready.” This means getting you and your finances in order so you can qualify for the best mortgage possible, with financial terms and a monthly payment that make sense for you and your budget.
So even if buying a home is a few years away, sitting down with a mortgage lender today can help get you on the path to homeownership. Here are five reasons why you should talk to a lender, even if you’re not quite ready to buy.
1. YOU MAY BE CLOSER TO BUYING A HOME THAN YOU THINK
One reason home buyers may hesitate to meet with a lender is that they think they aren’t financially ready. They may think their credit score is too low, or they don’t have enough saved up for a down payment.
They might be surprised, though.
“Every day, I’m able to show a prospective home buyer a home financing option or solution they didn’t know about,” says Gaurav Mahajan, vice president of residential lending at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. with the firm’s Rockville, MD branch office. “From a credit score, monthly payment, and down payment perspective, many potential buyers are closer to owning a home than they realize.”
2. YOU DON’T NEED PERFECT CREDIT TO BUY A HOME
Many people put off buying a home until they have a good credit score (typically a score of 700 or higher). According to Mahajan, a credit score of 620 is generally considered the minimum to qualify for a mortgage, but many lenders work with applicants with lower credit scores. Federal Housing Administration loans are available to applicants with scores as low as 580, and your lender may be able to connect you with other options.
3. A LENDER CAN HELP YOU CREATE AN ACTION PLAN FOR IMPROVING YOUR CREDIT
If your credit score is on the lower end, you may want to take some steps to improve your credit so you can qualify for a better interest rate.
“I often begin working with prospective home buyers one to two years in advance,” says Heather McRae, senior loan officer at Chicago Financial Services, in Chicago. “If there are [credit] items that need to be addressed—like how to boost your credit score to obtain the best rate and terms, or the best way to handle an account that has gone to collections—I guide people on how to best tackle these items.”
Michael Press of Penrith Home Loans in Seattle agrees. “If a buyer’s credit score needs improvement or perhaps they have an issue documenting necessary income or assets needed to qualify, a seasoned mortgage lender can help formulate a plan to get that same buyer in a better position to buy,” he says.
To formulate an action plan, lenders will typically:
- Do a “soft” credit check—A soft credit check is a credit inquiry that doesn’t hurt your credit score. This gives your potential lender a sense of where you stand today.
- Review your financial statements—Reviewing your bank statements and any investment or retirement accounts you have helps your lender know your available income and assets.
- Ask you about your budget, income, and financial history—Don’t be shy or embarrassed when it comes to disclosing this information to your lender, whose goal is to work with you. If you had a financial rough patch, got behind on a bill, or co-signed on a loan for your brother-in-law that you really regret, let your lender know.
Once your potential lender knows the ins and outs of your financial situation, it can develop a plan to help you pay down debts that are dragging down your credit score.
4. A LENDER CAN SPECIFY WHAT YOU NEED FOR A DOWN PAYMENT
Lenders can also clarify exactly how much you need to save for a down payment. FHA loans, for example, require a down payment of at least 3.5%. You may want to make a larger down payment to bring down your monthly payment or to offset negative credit items. A larger down payment of 25% to 30% lowers the lender’s financial risk, making your application more appealing.
A high down payment isn’t a requirement to qualify for a mortgage, though. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for a down payment assistance program. Many of these programs are localized, so to find out what you qualify for in your city and state, you should sit down with a lender in your area. For example, McRae reviews the pros and cons of local down payment assistance programs with her prospective home buyers to help them make an informed decision.
5. YOU’LL KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
The mortgage application process is lengthy, even for experienced home buyers. For first-time buyers, sitting down with a lender can give them an understanding of the mortgage underwriting process, how long it takes, and what documentation they will need to have prepared.
“With interest rates rising and many housing markets shifting, education and preparedness are more important than ever,” says Press.
Sitting down with a lender can help demystify the lending process, giving you time to get “mortgage ready” so you can purchase your dream home—whenever the opportunity presents itself.
For the full article, click here.
In today’s ultracompetitive real estate market, it’s said that potential buyers make up their minds within seconds of stepping inside a home. That’s why an ever-growing number of sellers turn to professional home stagers—whose services, some say, can add instant appeal and even sell a house up to 40 days faster.
Their secret? An arsenal of optical illusions and psychological tricks that draw buyers’ eyes to all the right places. Yep, that’s right. Home stagers are fooling us! (And we love it). Click here for the secrets to staging!
Moving is always a stressful venture, what makes it even more so is when you don’t know where you’re going to live. There are plenty of things you can take into consideration when deciding this. Education systems, climate, taxes, crime rates, food options, town size, and employment opportunities are all excellent examples of this. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 that I felt will ultimately be the determining factors when shopping for a home.
This is such an obvious consideration that most people may not consider it, but whether or not you can afford to comfortably live in a home while paying mortgage in addition to other bills is the single most important thing to research well before deciding on a home. It’s not enough to be able to make the payment each month, you need to be putting money into long-term savings and have backup money for when you inevitably break an axel on your car and need to have it repaired. Take the time to review your finances, know what price ranges you can afford, set a bar for yourself. This will quickly help you to understand what kinds of townships you can afford and what you cannot.
2: Real Estate Value
Ever heard the line “A home is the biggest investment you will ever make”? Well, there is plenty of truth to that, otherwise why else would people say it all the time? If you ever plan on moving again, it’s important that you understand if your home will have any re-sale value, or even retain it’s current value. Consider if the areas where you are looking are up and coming, or if they have hit their peak. If this is going to be your primary residence, you need go with a house that feels perfect to you, but what’s wrong with setting yourself up to make some money from it in a few years?
3: Family and Friends
Whether or not you have friends and family near by can make it difficult to decide where to live, if you have a lot of family in-state, you may not want to move 3 states over. Take time to understand where you are geographically, and if it will be troublesome for you to visit any loved ones.
A REALTOR® is a great resource, they’re experts on the topic of real-estate! Want to know more? Go here to read about MORE things you could consider before looking for a home.
Original article posted on MIBOR.
If you’re buying your first home, it might seem like going from paying rent to paying a mortgage is merely switching out one monthly bill for another.
But rents and mortgages differ on a couple of levels. For one, mortgage payments contribute to your stake in the home. The more payments you make, the more of the home you legally own.
The other major difference is what a mortgage includes. While rent is simply a once-a-month fee, a mortgage payment comprises what is known as PITI.
That acronym stands for:
- Principal: This portion of your payment goes toward the total balance of your mortgage loan, without any other charges.
- Interest: This is the extra cost of financing your home. Your interest rate (which is set when you apply for the loan) determines how much interest you pay annually.
- Taxes: As a homeowner, you’ll need to pay property taxes. These are typically paid monthly as part of your mortgage, and they could be included in your escrow account.
- Insurance: Your homeowners insurance policy, which can also be paid using escrow, protects your home from weather damage, theft and other potential issues. If you require private mortgage insurance, that will add to your monthly costs as well.
If you’re considering buying your first home, it’s essential that you understand what goes into a mortgage payment — as well as how you pay off that loan year over year.
And don’t assume that all of the monthly fees add up to more than your rent, especially when you consider the equity you’ll be building.
Thanks for the info, Amy Robbins! Want to learn more about the costs you can expect when purchasing a home? Get in touch today if you have questions or check out Amy’s website: https://amyrobbins.myhomehq.biz/
- Maintain your refrigerator
- To keep your refrigerator running efficiently in these hot months, you’ll want to vacuum and clean the condenser coils, defrost the freezer, and clean the seals around the door.
- Keep expanding wood from causing cracks
- Inspect the seals around your windows, roof, door frames, vents, ducts, and outdoor faucets, and take note of any cracking. Call in the pros:If the rim around your doors or windows looks screwy, an expert can fix the problem. Expect to pay about $160 to fix an exterior door, depending on the severity of the damage.
- Bust out the power or pressure washer
- Months of harsh weather have probably left your siding and hardscaping looking a little dingy. A power washer can do wonders!
- Give your washing machine a break
- Just like your fridge, your washing machine deserves some TLC during summer—especially if you have kids. All of those dirty sports jerseys and mud-soaked pants give the machine a serious workout. Check your hoses for leaks, and clean your lint filter, too.
- Declutter your lawn
- Scan your yard: Do you have any tall piles of wood, or uncleared corners of brush? “Bugs and other pests make a resurgence as the weather gets warmer,” Ricks says. These areas “provide pests cool, dark places to escape the heat.” Clear them immediately!
- Wash your window screens
- Reseal your deck
- Ready to host summer barbecues? Make sure your deck is ready, too.
- …and don’t forget your driveway
- To start, give your driveway a good power wash. Once it’s dry, fill in any cracks or holes with asphalt filler. Then give the whole driveway a fresh coat of sealant.
Visit here for more!
When buying your first home, there is a lot of new information you’re going to have to start diving into. This doesn’t mean that you are making poor decisions or that you can’t be educated on the subject, every homeowner has been in that position at some point in their lives! The important thing to do is stay calm, and simply start researching who your going to have represent you in this process. A REALTOR® will be your best resource when buying or selling. They are your advocate and will guide you along every step. Take the time to find someone who will understand your unique situation and have your best interests in mind.
There are 5 very common fears people face when buying homes. As long as you are aware of the different circumstances you could face, these fears can turn into a powerful tool to help you make an offer on a perfectly safe, and potentially profitable property.
- Credit Score
Credit score can be a frightening subject for a lot of people, especially with commercials always telling you that if you dare to check your score, that it will be lowered. There is nothing wrong with having low or even ZERO credit, it can always be improved. Take a look at your finances and get a good grasp on where all of your spending goes, if you don’t have a credit card, get one. There are plenty of banks that offer credit cards that are designed to help people build credit. As long as you are making payments on time and spending responsibly, you have nothing to fear.
- Home Maintenance
Now you’ve started looking into homes, and had you’re first home inspection, that’s great! Unfortunately, the home inspection came back with a huge list of repairs that are going to need to be done. Don’t fear this, go through it and think practically about how much of it could you really do on your own? We live in the era of doing it yourself, there are limitless resources online to help with all kinds of home repair. That’s not to say to start handling all the electrical work after watching a 5-minute video on YouTube. Stay safe and hire professionals when necessary. As far as you’re bathroom remodel goes though, YOU CAN DO IT.
- Find a good mortgage lender
Find a company that works best for you, don’t jump on the first one that makes you an offer. You should treat this phase delicately because it will determine a lot about the homes that you will be looking at, it could arguably be the most important step in buying a home!
- Keeping up with the mortgage
Being “home-poor” is an unfortunate situation that plenty of buyers can find themselves in. This can be prevented in the initial phases of things though, look at homes with your finances in mind, consider homes in low crime area. Consider homes that you can not only afford the mortgage but will be able to make more than the required payments so you can pay the house off faster. Buy a home that you can put your love into and improve it, so when it comes time to sell, you can sell for more than you bought it for. Staying on top of your finances is key when getting yourself a mortgage on a home!
- Be satisfied with your purchase
You’ve written a huge check, it’s natural for that to feel nauseating. Don’t doubt yourself now though, if you’ve done your research on the neighborhoods, the traffic, the home’s value, and have your head wrapped around your finances, you have nothing to be worried about. Stay confident with yourself, if you’ve taken each step of the process seriously and asked plenty of questions, there is nothing to fear! ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!
For more on this, you can go here
Other than how and when to make your mortgage payment, this is the most important step to closing on your home About 45 days after closing, you will receive a reminder from Lori and Lindsay to file your exemptions. While you can do this online, we highly recommend that you go to your county auditors office and file in person. When you go to file, you should take all of your closing paperwork with you and you should leave with your closing paperwork AND a receipt for your exemptions.
If you forget to file your exemptions, your taxes will increase significantly the following year and you will be unable to do anything about it until the next year. If there is an error with your taxes, your exemption receipt will help you get everything fixed.
The most basic exemptions that can be filed are homestead and mortgage, however, there are a variety of others that could apply to you. At closing, you will receive a packet explaining all possible exemptions. Make sure you read through these to see if there are additional exemptions you can file (over 65, veteran, etc).
Have questions? Get in touch! 317-384-4712 or lflynn(at)c21scheetz.com.