10 Home Loan Tips to Help You Survive Your First Purchase

In the life of an adult, there are a few times that are commonly stressful. One is getting married. Another is having a child. And, buying a home is another.

While it might be exhilarating to search for homes and wander through open houses, the actual process of buying a house is enough to force someone to live in an apartment forever. From the waiting to the paperwork, there is nothing else quite like buying a home. Fortunately, there are a few tips from the pros that can help you survive the stress, struggle, and moments of impatience.

10 Home Loan Tips to Help You Survive Your First Purchase - home loan image

1. Understand What You Can Afford

Having the biggest house on the block might be your dream, but being “house poor” is no fun. When you shop for your home, find something you can afford so you can enjoy living in your home. Learn what you can afford before you even begin to look so you do not fall in love with a house that you cannot afford.

2. Get Pre-Approved

Once you know what you can afford, it is wise to talk to a mortgage expert and get pre-approved for a home loan. This will give you credibility with sellers, especially if you want to see homes by appointment. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is not the same process as getting a mortgage, it simply means that you have the income and credit rating that qualifies you for a mortgage of a pre-approved amount.

If you get into a bidding war with another buyer, having a preapproval letter could give you an advantage.

3. Research Neighborhoods

If you find a home that seems like the price is just too good to be true, there is usually a reason – the neighborhood. It is amazing to consider that a similar home could range in value dramatically because of the neighborhood.

Prior to choosing a home, responsible home buyers will research neighborhoods, especially the schools, the public transportation options, the noise, and the nearby shops and other amenities. Check out how neighbors interact with each other. Look at how neighbors take care of their yards and where they park their cars. Some neighborhoods have associated fees, which can substantially add to monthly payments.

4. Prepare For The Added Costs

When you buy a home, there are more expenses than the down payment and the monthly payment. There are good-faith deposits, closing costs, inspection fees, homeowners insurance, and moving expenses. Make sure that you can afford all of them.

5. Decide What You Need Now

Many first-time home buyers will buy a house for the future. They will look for homes with several bedrooms, large yards, and plenty of places for children to play – even if they do not have any children.

Then, they have to take care of all of that space and make those massive mortgage payments. This leaves little time to consider having children because home expenses are so high.

There are also home buyers who will buy a very small home because there are just two people in the family at the time. But, then children come along and there simply isn’t time to find a bigger home and move because it is time-consuming and expensive to raise children.

Somehow, you will decide what suits your needs and your budget now and will keep you comfortable if your situation changes.

6. Get Involved In The Inspection Process

This can be overwhelming for the buyer and seller. The inspection is usually limited, so it can be helpful to ask for additional inspections. You will have to decide if the home is going to be safe to live in and if you can live in it without worrying about constantly having to repair it.

It is worth the extra money to pay for inspections for mold, insects, and radon. It is also worth it to pay for the inspector to evaluate the roof and crawl spaces. You should do everything in your power to attend all of the inspections. If you have a concern, ask the inspector to look at it the concern a second or third time.

7. Work With Professionals

It might be enticing to buy a home for a low cost or for free through your brother’s uncle’s best friend who sold houses in 1979 but still has his real estate license, but it certainly will not help you in the long run.

It might seem like a waste of money to pay a realtor, but good ones can actually make the process less stressful. Do not skimp here, or you will pay for it in other ways.

8. Save For A Down Payment And For A Problem

When you are saving for your down payment, you should also save for the first problem. Most expensive problems happen when you least expect it. The furnace might quit in the middle of a snowstorm. Your water heater will die when you are taking a shower on the coldest morning of the year. Your garage door opener breaks when you are late for work.

When you own a home, you have to pay to fix the problems that arise. And, they will arise. You just don’t know when. So, having money set aside to fix those problems makes them get fixed faster.

9. Learn How Mortgages Work

Mortgages are complicated. They are more than down payments and monthly payments. There are special home loans for first-time buyers. There are home loan programs for veterans and for people in special industries, like medicine. You can find out more from mortgage websites about the specific products that meet your needs.

Mortgages also come with options. There are ways to reduce down payments, but other costs increase. You can choose to get a 30-year mortgage or a 15-year mortgage. You can choose to have an adjustable interest rate or one that remains steady throughout the term of the loan. The options are plentiful and can be customized to meet your financial needs.

10. Learn Patience

The process of buying a home requires patience. When people hurry through it, problems usually happen. Learn to work methodically and patiently through the process, so you are sure that everything will work out properly and in your best interest.

Buy Property, Build Wealth. It’s That Simple

What’s the best way to build wealth? Buy stocks, bonds, equities, gold? While other assets may have characteristics that make them more appealing than property, there’s no doubt that the property market is the largest market by far, and there’s a reason for that.

Ask any billionaire investor, and they’ll tell you that the way to get rich, at least to begin with, is to buy property. Warren Buffett, for instance, got his start when he bought an Omaha ranch for $400,000 nearly forty years ago. Though it was just a farm, it’s continued to produce an annual income for him ever since. He’s earned millions of dollars from his original investment: dollars that have helped to fund some of the shrewdest investments in history, such as his investments in Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo.

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New England Style House Luxury Property

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Getting into real estate, however, is a different proposition than other investments. Some characteristics make it unique.

Perhaps the most important is that it is decoupled from fluctuations in other asset class markets. Property prices tend to ebb and flow more closely with wages over time – or the ability of people to afford the monthly repayments. Stocks and bonds less so. Property is also a cash flow generating asset because of the rental income it provides.

Lastly, property is usually bought with debt (a mortgage) unlike stocks or bonds, and so leverage is an important consideration. Because the asset will always exist, lenders are more willing to send you money to carry out a real estate investment project. And that means that just about anyone with a satisfactory credit rating can get involved.

Buy Multifamily Dwellings

Making money out of property investing is relatively straightforward, so long as you know what you’re doing. What you don’t want is a situation where the mortgage payments to the bank on the property exceed the rental income. And so you need to find ways to make each property generate as much revenue as possible.

One common strategy is to buy large, old-fashioned townhouses in areas that have seen a growth in the number of young, independent professionals. Markets in London, Indonesia, China and Brazil are ideal for this kind of purchase. The idea is simple: buy a large house and then divide it up into two, three or even four different dwellings.

The reason for doing this is that it is much easier to charge more overall when a property contains four separate dwellings. Each person is willing to pay a premium for the square footage they have, even if their living areas are small.

It’s also a good strategy for reducing risk. Rather than relying on one tenant to pay you rent every month, you have two or three different paying renters, making it much more likely that you will get paid at least something every month.

Why More People Don’t Invest In Property

Property investing has made thousands of people wealthy and given them the opportunity to rely on passive income rather than giving up their precious time at work. So why doesn’t everybody get involved?

One of the problems with investing in property is that it is difficult. You need to have the courage and the tenacity to stick with it, even when things get tough. It’s also complicated, especially when investing overseas.

Building A Portfolio Is Difficult

We’ve all heard about the difficulty of getting on the property ladder, and that same difficulty applies when it comes to building a property portfolio.

The problem with property investing is that it takes up a lot of time. You have to do more complicated accounts, make sure the properties are maintained and fit for habitation, and search for new investment opportunities.

Because of this, you need to have the luxury of time. If you don’t, you’ll be forever outsourcing these administrative tasks which will bump up your overall costs. And when your costs go up, all of a sudden renting out properties becomes far less lucrative.

Knowing Where To Invest Is Tough

The property market is one of the most eclectic in the world. And that makes it difficult to know where to invest, especially if you want to build a portfolio overseas. Sites like https://www.rumah.com/rumah-dijual/di-area-surabaya-idji29 give a flavour of the variety of properties and locations in the market, especially in emerging economies.

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Investors want a high return on their initial investment. It’s not just about rental income. It’s about building equity directly through price rises. Housing prices can rise for all sorts of reasons including population growth, local wage growth, lowering of interest rates in the domestic market, a lack of supply, and less strict lending rules. Factors that influence price vary from country to country, so as a property investor, you need to have your eyes and ears open to potential changes coming down the pike. Many investors, for instance, predicted the boom in house prices in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area when they saw that the technology industry was kicking off. House prices in San Francisco more than tripled between 1990 and 2018, providing owners with fabulous amounts of equity.

You Need To Be Patient

Day traders and people who buy stocks are used to reaping the rewards of their investments quickly. Profits can be taken after months or weeks, not years. But that’s not the case with property. If you want to become a property investor, you may have to wait several years before making a return.

The good news, however, is that if you can wait, the rewards are excellent. Not only do you get paid money for doing very little, but you also avoid a lot of the risk associated with other asset classes. It’s not uncommon, for instance, for stocks to drop more than 50 per cent in a week: it’s happened throughout history several times. But rental prices rarely drop by that much, if ever. According to http://www.propertygeek.net/article/property-investment-without-money/ this makes it much easier to start a business based on property.

So there you have it: why the costs of investing in property are worth your while. Good luck.

A Love For Letting: Making Money on the Rental Market

If you’re looking for a long term investment that’s safe, earns you far more than a high interest savings account at the bank and makes a fun project then why not consider property? Particularly, renting out property. If you get an estate agent to manage things for you then it’s something that you can easily do around a full time job or other commitments as there’s no hassle to you. It also makes a great retirement fund later on, as each month you have the tenants rent landing in your bank account- if the property is paid off by then it’s money you can spend as you wish. However there are a few things you will need to do first to ensure you’re all set up and ready to go.

A Love For Letting: Making Money on the Rental Market - property letting image

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Decor

Decorating a property for the rental market takes a few extra considerations. You don’t want to give yourself lots of added work or have to spend significant money between tenants redecorating. For this reason, keep it as a blank canvas. If you give tenants the freedom to redecorate, put a clause in the tenancy agreement that things must be returned back to normal at the end. A coat of paint and the use of a carpet cleaner will always be needed as fair wear and tear is allowed, but it beats having to spend hundreds or even thousands getting things back to the right condition. Keep walls plain and paint them white or magnolia, not only does this create a blank canvas for tenants but it’s cheap to repaint. Put down wooden floors downstairs and hard wearing carpets in a darker colour upstairs, these will stay looking nice for many years. If you want to offer the home as furnished, for example as a student let, you can actually buy furniture designed for the rental market. It’s usually more hardwearing and is often built in so it’s extra sturdy.

Contracts and Credit Checks

If you’re working with an agency this is something they can do for you, but you always have the option of drawing up your own contract. If you choose to go private and not use an agent then this is of course something you will need to do yourself. Again, if you’re using an agent they can arrange things like credit checking and vetting tenants so there’s no hassle to you,  but you always have the option of doing this yourself. If you are very against tenants having pets, smoking for example- make sure this is very clear in the agreement. When doing credit checks, decide how lenient you will be. For example, missed payments or defaults from four or five years ago may not reflect how the person manages their money today. But in some cases, you might prefer to take someone with a perfect or near perfect record to minimise your risk.

Inspections

Communication is key when it comes to property lettings. It might be your property, but it’s home to the person you’re renting to so you need to bear in mind their rights and considerations. If you want to inspect the property, you will usually need to give fair advance notice. It could be best to set out the terms of inspection in your tenancy agreement so everyone knows where they stand.

How to Build Up Your Property Portfolio

How to Build Up Your Property Portfolio - monopoly houses and cash image

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There are few safe investments you can make but one of the best is property. Putting your some of your money into bricks and mortar is a good way to make it work harder for you and will give you a great investment in return.

If you are a smart buyer, finding the right properties will give you a good financial edge and should help you quickly build up a sizeable nest egg. Buying to let is a good way of safeguarding a property and making money while your investment remains. However, if you are looking to make a quick buck, buying and doing up a property is a good route to go too.

Fixer-upper

There is a lot of money to be made in the development of old properties and if you are willing to move about a bit, you could quickly make enough to stay in one house while you do up another. There is a wide range of houses that fall under the term from a fresh coat of paint to full building works so think about what you are willing to take on before you start.

If you have never fixed up a property before, you should definitely request the advice of planning consultants before you implement any radical changes. You will need to gain planning permission for structural works like reconfigurations or extensions and a planning consultant will be able to advise you on the best plan so that you don’t waste any time going through rejections and appeals.

Buy-to-let

When you are looking for a property to rent out, you need to be sure that you will get a renter soon in order to cover your costs. If you can, use savings only to invest in the property, leaving you with enough cash for a rainy day. Otherwise, you need to make sure that your renter will be able to pay enough to cover any buy-to-let mortgage you take out.

You also need to consider who you want your rental to appeal to and decorate accordingly. If you are looking for student lets, make sure that you provide enough neutral furniture so that they can move straight in at the start of term. For other renters, you might be better off showing an unfurnished house as they are more likely to move in for a longer period and want their own things.

Holiday Rental

With the likes of AirBnB arriving, now is a really good time to offer up a property for short term holiday lets. You might not have the security of long term tenants but you will be able to make a considerable amount of profit.

The rules for interior design are also slightly different. You might consider going for a themed house or apartment to make it stand out from the masses or you could use smart design to give a luxury appearance and charge accordingly.

Whatever you choose, investing in property is  good idea for your financial future. It will give you a real investment you can fall back on as will as work your money hard to build up a decent nest egg.

Why teaching your children responsible finance is important

There will come a time when you will sit your children down and tell them how the world works. You care deeply about them, so you’ll teach them how to take care of themselves financially. You may have gone through points in your life when you have had to be frugal and times when you have invested. To set them up with the best knowledge, advice and respect for money, you will need a little help.

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Teach them, don’t lecture them.

Start them off young. You may find lecturing your children how to be responsible with money and taking care how they use it, might be a fruitless exercise. But there are dedicated routes you can put them on, where information in fun bite-sized portions can instil in them the values you want. Millennials by the age of 15 are beginning to understand how the economy works. Instead of sitting them down for a long talk about ‘pennies make the dollars’, give them something they can digest in their own time. Books on avoiding debt and having self-restraint can be a gift on a holiday or for their birthday. Don’t force it down their throats, they are, after all, going through a rebellion period at this age.

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Give them responsibility

Don’t patronise your children, the youngsters today aren’t what they used to be. Technology is at their fingertips, and most kids understand it; more than you might think. Take them with you to the bank, and set up a bank account in their name. Bring them through the process and let them ask you and the branch’s financial advisor questions. Another excellent strategy to get children interested in learning about finance is to go their school and request a fun segment with books, theatre and art on money, be incorporated into their everyday learning.

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A family project in renovating

For the keen, sharp-eyed investors, a property is there to be bought and sold. For the young entrepreneur, the property can be their very first business venture. Buying houses or apartments to renovate then sell, is a fantastic way for teenagers to become their own boss. As a parent or young entrepreneur, working with people you can trust such as family is crucial in taking the first step in the world of risk and reward. Buying an old house with your pooled resources and renovating the property into a modern family or professionals’ home, is a great route. When buying the materials you intend to use, look for deals, buy in bulk and plan out your budget and purchasing schedule. You will most likely be doing the renovating yourselves, so take the time to research the methods of professional builders to avoid time-consuming mistakes. When done correctly, your prudential real estate will be a hot potato, ready to be scooped up by many professionals.

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Selling your hard work

Property development can be a lucrative business. It not only stirs one’s creative juices but also requires the developer to do the research that will make their property incredibly attractive to the market. When it finally comes to selling your investment, auctioning your property to the highest bidder, rather than a fixed price set by a surveyor could give you more than you expected. You’re on shaky ground at this point, because different estate agents will quote you different prices. Go online and find a company with a track record that surpasses the competition, and will fight for you and sell your hard work for the absolute maximum.