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Developing Your Dream House: Things You Need to Consider

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A house is a place where you can live in comfort and safety. The design of your dream home will depend on the living you want to have and what would be best for your family. But before you decide which property to buy, you must consider all the factors involved in making sure this will meet your needs and budget.

In this post, you will find some of the most important aspects when developing or buying a new home – so read on!

The House Design

The house design is the first thing you need to consider. It is the responsibility of an architect or designer to come up with a plan that works for your dream house. If possible, it would help if they have designed other projects similar to what you want because this will give them ideas on how to create yours.

A few even take a keen interest in learning more about your requirements before making any suggestions at all. Doing so is beneficial since there isn’t much room for error when building one’s dream home from scratch due to a lack of information on specific details beforehand.

Choice of Contracts

The contract would help if you were both fair and easy to build. And it must take into account the cost of materials, labor, and any other added expense. Make sure you agree on a payment plan as well. The builder should also have a good track record of working within your budget and timeframe.

Also, the traditional architect usually fills all the necessary documents with local government authorities too, so their work must be top-notch quality! It can also help if they are known locally because then more people might know about your dream house, which could lead to better business opportunities down the road!

Budget

Your budget is a crucial component for developing your dream house. With the proper contract and design, you can still over-spend on a budget as long as there is room to spare. It will help if you work with an architect/contractor who gives you options within your budget so that it doesn’t cause problems later.

Government Influence

These are rules and regulations by the local government for building a house. These may include laws on earthquake readiness, fire safety, or setback distance from the road. The government hugely influences your dream house. You need to know about what they are establishing so you can be able to design your dream house around these rules and regulations.

Engineer’s Work Skill

The engineer has to ensure that they meet all required building codes and standards. You will want an experienced person who can handle any situation without problems. For example, a poorly constructed house would be dangerous for everyone living in it.

When choosing your engineers, consider the following:

– Experience: Make sure that they have been in the business for a long time. Also, it’s good to see if the engineers have registration with any professional organizations.

– Technical knowledge: Your engineer must be able to give you a detailed explanation of their work. You should never feel like they are hiding anything from you or making things up as they go along.

Conclusion

In conclusion, developing your dream house is a big project. You can do it with the help of an experienced building team that will meet all your needs and requirements!

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The Signs Of A Good House And How You Can Spot Them

If you’re on the search for a new home or property for your portfolio, then it will be important for you to be aware of what you’re buying. There may be hidden little things to look out for, as well as questions you should be asking the seller and realtor that you’re potentially working with.

Size Of The Home

One of the first things that you should be looking out for when it comes to the quality of the home, is the actual size. This can refer to several factors, from the physical size of each home to the front and back garden space. The size is important for both the seller and buyer, with it being important to get a true and honest representation across the board.

Knowing the size of the home allows you to be inspired to create whatever you want when you purchase, without restriction. It may be possible for you to extend the home into new areas, or knock down walls to open up rooms.

History Of The Home

The history of the home can tell you a lot about whether or not the house is worth buying or not. For example, you may notice in its records that it has recently gone through a refurbishment, which means it won’t need any work doing for a while. Alternatively, you may find that the report states that the house hasn’t undergone any major work, which could mean you need to refurbish the property to keep it going.

The history of the home could be provided by your realtor or solicitor, who should be able to obtain any documents related to your home. On that note, the realtor you work with will be super important for the house purchasing process. If you have a below-par realtor, then it could not only slow down the house purchase but also cost you more in hidden fees.

The area in which you’re looking to buy could dictate which realtor you decide to work with to make the purchase easier. Whether that’s looking at a certain county or state. For a realtor in South Carolina for example, you may have more options to consider. You can find a realtor with experience such as EZ Home Search, which utilizes both traditional and modern methods to find your dream home and make the process as easy as possible.

With an efficient realtor, you will find you have less work to do, and can instead focus on finding the actual home itself. If they don’t have any documents that you want to see, then they will be able to find the records through the county or town hall to help answer your queries.

Foundation Condition

Relating to the history of the home, you should be taking a keen look at the foundation and structure of the building. This will include looking out for things such as damp in the walls, rotting timber, cracks in the foundation as well as other important building elements.

This is the reason that some people hire professionals to survey the home. These surveys are something you should do before purchasing so that you know you’re getting your money’s worth, and won’t need to fork out more money further down the line.

For example, you may be expected to pay for repairs or have to pay, to live in the property after you’ve purchased it. If possible, you should ensure that the cost is lowered to accommodate for any issues, or at least have them take care of it before paying.

What You Should Be Looking To Avoid

As well as the foundation, you should be looking out for several issues, including looking at the overall condition of the exterior walls, as they can be a sign of deeper problems. Within the home, you should keep an eye on the floor situation, as any uneven or bouncy floors could be a sign of an issue that is expensive to fix.

This is more common with older homes because they’ve settled over a long time. Of course, some bumps will be perfectly fine to have within the home, but some previous work on a home could have disrupted the situation.

When you’re viewing a home, you should be careful of any room fresheners that have been placed by the owner or realtor too. This could be a sign that they are trying to hide a common smell, which may be a nasty surprise for you when it comes to purchasing. It’s a similar story when it comes to music or sounds being played across the home, as they may be trying to mask any noise from outside or nearby.

If there is a place within the home that the seller doesn’t want you to see, then this will also be a red flag, and you should be hesitant.

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SEE HOW WALLPAPER CAN MAKE YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY LEASE FOR MORE MONEY

It’s common to come across wallpaper in people’s homes. It’s been the standard for decades and does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. But did you know that wallpaper can serve your commercial property needs too? It no longer needs to be the norm in only residential spaces. Let’s look at how using wallpaper can transform your business space and help you lease it for more money:

Benefits of Wallpaper for Commercial Spaces

Workspaces were once dull spaces where people would report, put in their hours, grunt at some points of the day, and clock out. Maybe they headed out for happy hour or went home, dreading the monotony of the next day. That was until commercial space owners and lessees decided to change things. How? By introducing some color, patterns, and textures in these spaces. Through these, they made the spaces feel more inspiring, which shot up the productivity in the spaces. Think about it. When people are in a room with beautiful wallpaper, they feel better about the workspace. Even clients who walk into such rooms are more likely to linger for longer. For restaurants and boutiques, that’s a good thing.

But why would wallpaper be the right choice for a commercial property?

Better Aesthetics

When people move into a commercial space, they often spend a huge chunk of money customizing the space. It eats into their budget and can deter them from making any big moves for a while. But picture a room fitted with flower wallpaper or any other lively patterns. A business could move in and not require doing any touchup on the room. Wallpaper has a positive aesthetic impact on any space. It takes away the financial burden on the tenant and enables them to focus on the fittings instead. That should be a great selling point that would have people lining up for a lease.

Higher Durability

Commercial spaces often see many people walking in and out of these premises. It’s easy for the spaces to have a high rate of wear and tear, seeing as people do not treat them as homes. The good thing with wallpaper is that it is long-lasting. A good wallpaper will serve you for as many as 10 to 15 years. That’s much more use than you would get from paint which often needs a touchup every few years. Plus, paint fades, and when used on a wall with high foot traffic, it requires a high level of maintenance. But with wallpaper, you’re talking about at least a decade of use. Even with frequent use and cleaning, it will continue serving your functional and aesthetic needs. So, when you introduce this aspect to your tenants, they will hardly hold back on paying more for the space.

Low Maintenance

How many tenants want to spend time maintaining the premises? Very few. They are content with having you take care of the shared spaces, and they make do with what their employees can do in their leased space. The possibility of hiring help to maintain the walls will not augur well with most lessees. The good thing with wallpaper is that it is easy to maintain. You can clean it by simply running a wet cloth over its surface. Some are even scrubbable, but you barely need to go that far. Throw this in as a point when marketing the space- most people will jump at the chance to save money on maintenance.

Reduced Energy Use

Think about offices, cafes, restaurants, salons, and the likes. What do these spaces have in common? They host clients who want to be as comfortable as possible. It’s easier said than done. After all, how do you get your clients to feel warm when it’s freezing outside? You crank up the heater, which, of course, translates to higher utility costs each month. But if you don’t have the heat up, some people will cancel on you and head to a premise where heating is not a problem. You get to provide your tenants with a higher R value with wallpapers, thanks to their insulation properties. They can rest assured that providing comfortable spaces to their clients will not come with a higher utility bill.

Increased Property Value

Do you want to know the reason most people install wallpaper in their homes? They want higher resale values! They know that potential buyers walking through the space will notice the improvements and alter the offer upwards. That’s the same case with commercial wallpaper. Once it’s in place, your space’s value will also go up, and when your property has a high value, you can always negotiate a better lease rate. It comes down to the low maintenance and high durability aspects associated with wallpaper. Besides, people are always willing to pay more for aesthetically appealing spaces.

More Customizability

Most tenants don’t like being tied down to one look. With paint, the appearance of the space is permanent and cannot change unless the tenant seeks your permission to paint over the walls. But with wallpaper? Your tenant can remove this and install their choice of wallpaper. Removable wallpaper makes it possible for tenants to try different themes as they sort through their marketing edge. The best thing about it? – it will not damage the walls and gives them the freedom to choose how they want to display their brand image. They can take their wallpaper with them or leave it for the next tenant when they eventually move out.

Improved Image

Suppose your commercial space is a bit rundown, and the walls are not what they used to be. Painting them would not be the best option. Instead, you can use wallpaper to make them pop and take away the focus from the walls. Besides, it also protects the walls from getting damaged by the tenants. That way, when you want to lease out the space to another tenant, you don’t need to start repairing holes or blemishes brought on by the previous tenant.

Did we mention that wallpaper is also easy to install and comes in a wide variety? These are other pros that you can pass on to possible tenants for better lease terms.

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Roofing construction stuff: The benefits of using a professional roofing company

No doubt, the roof is crucial for your home. However, severe snow, strong winds, and other bad weather conditions can significantly affect your roof. For example, roof deterioration can happen quickly in places where the climate is usually snowy. And, if your roof gets damaged and you decide to repair it, then there are many things you should consider.

Today, some people prefer to do the projects themselves, but roofing is not part of them. This is because you need a specific set of skills to do a roofing project. This is the reason why you need to get a Frisco TX Roofing Company that has years of experience doing similar projects to yours. This article discusses the benefits of using a professional roofing company.

They know the building code

Remember that the building code refers to a set of standards that roofing companies need to follow when it comes to designing and constructing buildings. Each city tends to have specific codes that allow specific measurements for roofs in areas, and they need to be according to house or building’s size.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to find a reputable roofing expert to do it on your behalf, especially if you are not familiar with the building code. It’s worth noting that professional roofing companies have the right knowledge of the building code in your area. They can also make sure that the roof follows the limits of the provisions.

Hiring a roofing company can also save you from making costly mistakes. When you attempt to repair or install the roof yourself, there are good chances that you can violate this code. This can mean you need to remove the roof and start all over again. This is why you must trust the experts if you want the roof to be done properly.

They provide quality work

Quality is usually associated with the skills you learn through hands-on experience. Therefore, it doesn’t help to watch do-it-yourself roofing footage to get the same experience that professionals get from their roofing mastery. In other words, you need to have specific roofing skills that you can only learn by doing roofing projects.

Fixing a roof without enough experience can lead to errors. Regardless of whether or not these errors are minor, it can usually lead to serious consequences. As a result, you can incur extra expenses instead of saving your hard-earned money.

You can avoid potential accidents

You should also note that roofing can be a risky project, especially for someone with little experience. Hence, if you decide to install a new roof or even repair the old one, there are good chances that you can hurt yourself. For example, you can fall off the roof during the roof repair process.

In some cases, the safety equipment may not be adequate when you don’t have the roofing experience. These safety equipment tools can also be expensive for a one-time project. This is why it makes sense to get a roofing company to work on your roof.

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Planning To Buy A House? Keep These 5 Things In Mind

So, the notion of buying a home has popped into your mind. The reasons for buying a house are probably endless, and it’s typically a positive step in the lives of most people. It’s time to check out listings for your desired location.

You might be looking closeby, or further afield to one of the most popular Manitou Springs listings in Colorado. Maybe even all the way abroad. It all depends on your current situation, but there are a few basic things to bear in mind beforehand.

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Representation Can Help

They say anyone can be a real estate agent, and it’s quite true. The thing is, though, this on its own doesn’t change the fact that realtors are extremely well-positioned in their trade and can be very beneficial to your purchase.

Getting in touch with a realtor is very often a smart move. If you’re selective about who you want to work with, that is. There are good realtors and bad ones, like in any profession. The trick is to do some homework and look at past sales performance and reputation.

Checking Ownership History

Once you’ve vetted your agent, start scanning for sites. If you’ve landed on a few potential spots, you can start doing some digging with your representation. All records pertaining to the life of a house will be available for inspection.

It pays to do the work. You can assess exactly who has owned the house, what was paid for it in the past, and all that good stuff to keep you informed.

Check for Renovation and Permits

As part of the property’s history, you should also closely inspect any apparent renovation work on the buildings. If anything appears to have been altered, check to see the requisite permits are in order.

The last thing you want is a huge legal problem attached to your new home. These kinds of cases often drag on interminably in the legal system and can wind up being very expensive for you.

Local Amenities

A huge part of buying a home has to do with the location. What makes a location is its amenities and proximity to certain services you might rely on. This will depend on the individual, and so your personalized choice is important here.

Having a police station nearby will be a comfort to many folks, while for others local school performance will be paramount. When it comes to amenities, your realtor should be able to assist you while making decisions.

Monitoring Over Time

If you have the luxury of time, it can be really helpful to just watch things for a while. Taking that extra time to see how prices fluctuate in the area can save you a serious hassle. Noticing how the region goes up or down in several other respects could do the same.

Malls close down and reopen, for example. Local services may move nearer or further from your desired location and any number of other changes that would be hard to see at first glance. These things make a big difference in the longer term.

Some Concluding Thoughts

Purchasing a home can be very exciting, especially for first-timers. Given that it’s such a serious and substantial purchase, it really pays to be cautious about it all. Take nothing for granted with your purchase, to ensure that you don’t get stiffed in any way.

It’s a great thing about our information age that you can do background checks on most things quite easily. This helps when evaluating everything from your chosen representation to the home itself. Happy searching!

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Why Apartment Living Might Be Better Than A House For You

To a lot of people, properties and places to live are put on a grading scale. A lot of people see most apartments to be inherently under a house when it comes to the property ladder. Often, this is due to their smaller space and lack of outdoor room. However, that’s not true. Apartment living might be better for a lot of you reading this, and here are some of the reasons why.

They’re much better for busy lifestyles

A family can work well with a house if you can pull together the spare time needed to care for everything in it. However, if you’re living alone or as one half of a couple that both have full-time jobs and responsibilities a-plenty, then the ease of maintenance that an apartment offers may well be one of its chief selling points. Take a look at the routine maintenance schedule you should have for the average apartment and compare it to the amount of work a house takes. If you’re not very rich in time, a home can start to get very demanding, indeed.

You don’t have to do all the work that a house’s exterior requires

The curb appeal, aesthetic benefits, and lifestyle additions that outdoor space can offer a home are some serious benefits. However, they also come with the caveats that the exterior is going to need work over the years. Some tasks, like paving the driveway or replacing old patios or decking, are going to be infrequent, but when it comes to your garden, keeping it in good condition is a continuous task you had better be ready to keep on top of.

Apartments bring the access

What your apartment or house is connected to is going to change on a case-by-case basis. However, in general, downtown apartments are built to be as close to commercial areas and transport links as possible, offering very convenient access to city life. On the other hand, houses tend to be more remote and to the people who want that, that’s a benefit. If you like being connected to the beating heart of the city, however, the apartment might be the way to go.

Considering the amenities

Again, this depends on where you can rent or buy an apartment, but many of them will come with amenities that can improve your quality of life. This can include laundry, gym access, a pool, saunas, a coffee shop, some places even offer access to dog spas or yoga classes. These amenities tend to be easier to access in apartments because they are funded by the rent of everyone who is living there at once. If you’re looking to add a little extra to your life, consider the apartment amenities you should look for.

Of course, whether apartment living might be better for you, or whether you should be looking at moving into a house instead is largely going to depend on your needs as an individual and where your life is at. Consider the points above and whether an apartment might gel with your lifestyle better, for now.

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How To Maintain High Cleanliness Levels in Your Rental Property

Rental property owners know that cleanliness is essential. But what about the high quality of service? Maintaining a high level of cleanliness in your rental property will help you provide top-notch service for your tenants, which can lead to increased turnover rates. Below is a guide for keeping up with cleaning, organizing, and even preventing potential pests.

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Manage Pest Infestation

Managing pest infestation is a great way to maintain high cleanliness levels in your rental property. Unfortunately, it is the number one reason for tenant complaints, and it can also damage appliances, walls, and flooring. The type of pest you’re dealing with can help determine the best course of action.  So, if you suspect a pest issue at your property, contact pest control specialists immediately! Do not attempt to deal with the situation yourself.

Hire a Cleaning Company

A thorough cleaning of your rental property is essential for it to keep its appearance and quality. It’ll also improve your property’s value significantly.

Since you cannot be present during the process, hire a company that can guarantee high cleanliness levels and low prices.

Hiring a professional company to clean your property will save you time and money. In addition, their employees are trained in providing the best possible results, which is why they can guarantee high levels of cleanliness.

Do Not Pile Up Trash

If you allow your guests to stack up trash on the property, visitors will associate that behavior with cleanliness standards. Unfortunately, trash is a huge problem when it comes to maintaining high cleanliness levels in rental properties. Visitors may not realize they are leaving behind a mess, but it can cause renters’ poor reviews and turn-over rates if left unchecked.

To maintain high cleanliness levels in your rental property, you need to ensure that guests are not piling up trash. This includes food waste and clothing or linens. Additionally, be sure to check the premises at least once a day for any noticeable piles of trash to prevent it from accumulating over time. This is an essential problem-solving strategy to maintain high cleanliness levels in your rental property.

Impose Cleanliness Rules on Tenants

Maintaining high cleanliness levels is vital for both owners and tenants. Owners need to keep the property at a certain standard, while tenants benefit from living in an aesthetically pleasing environment. One way of achieving this is by imposing rules on how tenants should behave when using shared spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, or bathrooms.

To do this successfully, you need to understand your tenant’s personalities and lifestyles so that you don’t create rules arbitrarily but based on the way they live their lives.

Repair Anything That Is Broken

Update the appliances in your rental property to ensure that they are up-to-date. This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your tenants are happy.  Updating appliances is a great way to keep the property looking modern and up-to-date without spending too much money on renovations.

Many renters will judge a home by its appearance and how it feels. If something looks old or broken, potential tenants may not bother viewing any more properties.

Conclusion

The key to maintaining high cleanliness levels in your rental property is ensuring that you get the right tenant. The best way to do this is by thoroughly screening applicants and checking their references. Once they move into your home, make sure you set out clear rules and expectations and stick to them. If your property is well kept and maintained as per tenant expectations, they will maintain high cleanliness levels themselves.

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How to Stage the Bedroom Before You Sell a House

Have you put up your house for sale? If so, it might be soon when your first potential buyer arrives to take a look at the home. The first question they’re likely to ask is how many bedrooms. Your answer is as important as a bedroom’s look, feel, and atmosphere.

Staging a bedroom is what every home seller should do. The process involves making the room as presentable as possible. For instance, any personal items should be removed, such as photographs, shoes, clothes, magazines, books, or posters. You want your buyers to picture themselves living in these bedrooms, seeing them as their own.

In addition, bedrooms are notorious for being prone to clutter. Ensure you declutter the room before the staging. Your bedroom shouldn’t feel busy, tiny, or tight with space. Your buyer shouldn’t struggle to walk around in a bedroom or find a comfortable place to sit.

There are other tips to help you stage a bedroom for sale. Here’s precisely how you do it to maximize your chance of selling your home.

Focus on the bed.

Ensure your bed is the first thing seen whenever someone enters the room. It should be given priority, with space on both sides to walk around. Do not line your bed up with the doorway. In feng shui home staging, it’s known as the ‘coffin position’. You still want to ensure it is prominently featured, with a quality headboard, comforter, and tuck.

If there’s space beside your bed and in the bedroom, set up a little reading nook with a comfy chair and floor lamp. Coziness here is critical. Use furniture rental for home staging to fill the bedroom as you don’t want a space feeling too empty. A sitting area is the recommended way to go and is more neutral than assigning a desk or artistic space to a bedroom.

Add bedroom accessories

It’s not enough to make your bed. Buy a new comforter. They’re not expensive and give a whole new look to a bedroom. No one wants to see an old blanket when they enter a prospective property for themselves. A fancy comforter communicates the vibe of the room, giving someone a place to relax and unwind. The new blanket or comforter really will make a bedroom look more welcoming.

In addition, adding mirrors can perceptively add space to your bedroom. Consider one or two strategically-placed mirrors to make a room feel not so small. It may seem obvious or like an obvious tactic. However, realtors and home sellers have been using this trick successfully for years.

Make the lighting presentable.

If a potential buyer is coming during daytime hours, open the windows and get a lot of natural light. If it’s in the later hours of the day, find the proper lighting for each bedroom. Don’t go overpowering with your lighting, but you don’t want it dim either. You may want to install a new fixture or a dimmer as these are popular among buyers.

Speaking of windows, we don’t even tend to notice our window treatments. Buyers will, however. Take a look and see if they’re worth updating. The right window treatment can emphasize different aspects of a bedroom, such as using drapes to make the area feel taller. It also allows you to decorate and change the look of a bedroom to make it feel more inviting.

Paint reinvigorates a bedroom.

If you haven’t given your bedrooms a new coat of paint in the last year, do so. Choose a light gray or blue to add calmness or a neutral color that you know buyers will like. Even if your bedrooms look tremendous, a fresh coat of paint adds newness that you won’t otherwise get.

In addition, recognize that people exist from all backgrounds. Don’t paint the bedroom in overtly feminine or masculine colors. Making a space appealing to everyone can be tricky. However, this is the sort of atmosphere a seller wants to create when staging a bedroom for sale.

Stage the whole home.

You don’t want a partially staged home with just the bedrooms done, and the kitchen and bathrooms left undone. If you are arranging your bedrooms for sale, recognize you will need to take a similar approach throughout the rest of your home. If there’s an en-suite bathroom to the master bedroom, this is even more important. You will want to ensure there’s a cohesive level of cleanliness and design

When staging the home, focus on the smell. Every home has a scent. We often grow so desensitized to it that we don’t notice. Before entertaining any showings, use essential oils or a pleasant smell to add a new dynamic to your bedrooms. Use a candle or any scent that you perceive to be warm and welcoming.

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Warning Signs to Look Out For Before Buying a House

Buying a house is a huge decision, both for your family and lifestyle, as well as for the financial burden. That is why when you’re thinking of buying a new home, there are definitely some checks to look at and some warning signs to look out for. Each time you look to buy a home you need to be looking closely at it. You don’t want to commit a lot of money to move to a new home and then face a lot of unexpected and large costs.

The more that you know about buying a home and what to look out for, the better. That being said, there are some initial red flags that don’t need to be a deal-breaker when looking for your new home. For example, as there are things that can be done about them easily, don’t let asbestos or radon be a deal breaker for buying your dream home. There are, however, some red flags that shouldn’t be ignored, as they can be much more costly to fix. Here are some things to look out for.

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Exterior cracks

The inside of a home can look as good as anything, but if you’re not paying attention to the outside of the home it can be costly. If you notice any cracks in the exterior walls or any kind of tilting, it can be an indication of some issues with the foundations of the home. If you do notice any, then getting a survey done and having a structural engineer come to look at the home can be a good idea. They will be able to give you an estimate of the damage if there is any, and what it would cost to sort it all out.

History of ownership

Much like looking at a resume and seeing a new job every year, the same kind of warning sign needs to go to homes that have a high turnover of owners. This is something that can be checked online. With the average length of time someone spends in a home being nine years, anything less than two or three, that happens regularly, shouldn’t be ignored. It could indicate that something is wrong with the house, there are horrible neighbors, or the street gets busy and noisy, so definitely something to think about.

Uneven floors

If you notice some uneven floors, then it can be a big red flag of bigger problems. Some realtors even recommend bringing something like a marble when you look round the house, to see if it stays still or rolls away. There can be big costs associated with uneven floors as you’d need to rip the flooring out and start again. But if the flooring is very uneven, then you could even have to think about the foundation of the home.

While there are a number of things to think about when it comes to buying a new home, these are some big signs to look out for, as they can indicate that something is wrong. They may not be a deal-breaker, but knowing what the repairs would be could influence how much you’re willing to pay for the house.

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7 Useful Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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The prospect of buying your new home is very exciting indeed but the process of it can be so challenging. There are so many steps and requirements that you need to get a good understanding of, before jumping into the whole process.

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of what to do, what to expect, and what questions to ask, you are a first-time home buyer and some advantages come with that. Certain perks like tax breaks, access to state programs, and federally backed loans in a case where you do not have the basic minimum down payment.

It might interest you to know that even if this isn’t your first rodeo, according to the HUD (U.S Department of housing and urban development) you qualify as a first-time home buyer if you are:

  • Someone who did not hold ownership in a principal residence for a space of three years that ends on the date of purchase.
  • A single parent who only owned a home before getting separated from their spouse.
  • A displaced homemaker who only owned a home with an estranged spouse.
  • Someone who only owned a principal residence not rooted to a permanent foundation per applicable regulations.
  • Someone who owned a property that fell short of state, local, or model building codes and cannot be brought into abidance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

Here are some useful tips to not only get you started but also settled in as a new homeowner:

Have Extensive Savings

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You need to make sure you have enough money for expenses like

    • Down payment: This will depend on the type of mortgage you get. With a good credit score, you might get as low as a 3% down payment. But, even with this, you need to save well because 3% of the purchase price (usually 5-6 figures) is a lot of money. The more money you save up for down payment, the less you’ll have to borrow and the more equity you’ll begin with.

 

  • Closing costs: These are fees, usually 2% to 5% of the loan amount, you pay to finalize your mortgage.
  • Move-in costs: After buying the house comes expenses in the form of home repairs, furnishings, and upgrades.

 

Ensure You Have Good Credit

Whether you get a mortgage at all and the interest rate it will attract depends on your credit score. Here are a few tips to help strengthen your credit score:

  • Get reports on your credit so you’ll know what you are working with and how to get to where you want. Also to check and dispute any errors on the report. Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are credit bureaus you could get free reports from.
  • Pay bills as at when due, and keep low credit card balances.
  • A DTI (debt to income ratio) of 43%.

Choosing a Low or No Down Payment Mortgage Option

Good for you if you’re looking to get mortgage loans nowadays because the mortgage rate is at a historical low. The average 30-year mortgage rate for 2020 was 3.11%.

There is an array of mortgage options available with variations in eligibility requirements. Some require a sizable down payment. There are also mortgage options with no down payment for qualified buyers:

Mortgages that Require a Down Payment

 

  • Conventional mortgages are not backed by the government. First-time buyers could get as little as 3% down.

 

  • FHA loans are loans from the Federal Housing Administration and they give out loans for down payments as low as 3.5%
  • Native American Homebuyers: can take advantage of a section 184 loan. With this, they get a loan upfront guarantee fee of 1.5%, down payment of 2.25% on loans above 50 000 dollars.

Mortgages that Do Not Require a Down Payment

  • USDA loans are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are targeted at rural home buyers and are not required to pay down payments.
  • VA loans are from the Department of Agriculture. They are targeted at veterans and current military serving and are not required to pay down payments.

Get a Pre-approval letter

The pre-approval can only come after the lender must have verified all your financial information ( credit score, employment details, DTI, etc.). The lender pre-approving a certain amount for you is important because it shows real estate agents and homeowners that you’re a serious buyer.

It is important to note that a lender can rescind a pre-approval if you happen to damage your credit score after it’s been issued.

Choosing a Good Real Estate Agent

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In a 2018 survey, 86% of home buyers employed the services of an agent while searching for a home in the U.S. Getting a good real estate agent could really make a difference in your house-buying experience. A good agent will search for homes that meet your needs, help you decide on an offer, and follow through with the negotiations and closings.

Enquire from other new homeowners about their own experiences with agents, interview a few and settle for the one most suitable for you.

Have the Home Inspected

Home sellers are only humans and might want to cover up a few flaws in the home just to drive up the price. Therefore, it is essential to get a professional home inspector to give an overall assessment of the structure and mechanical systems of your potential new home.

This way you’re sure you won’t get stuck with a money pit or go through the trouble of doing a lot of unexpected repairs. On the other hand, if issues are found you could ask the seller for a discount or simply rescind your offer and get your deposit back.

Get Proper Home Insurance

You’ll be required to get homeowner’s insurance before closing on your loan. Just like you did with the mortgage and real estate agent, take your time to find an agency that suits your needs. Home insurance should cover repairs and replacement of the damaged home structure and property. You should also consider the new area in terms of what your insurance should cover.

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