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.

Planning Well: How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

The real estate industry is quite a booming sector that largely influences the economy regionally and nationally. Working in the real estate industry as a sales agent can, therefore, be a lucrative job opportunity, that many people desire. Excelling in this industry, however, requires you to be well-informed, aggressive, and versatile enough. Success, in this regard, is measured in terms of how well you can drive sales as well as how much of a foothold you have in your market. To start your career as a real estate agent, here are important tips on how to become successful.

Planning Well: How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent - property sale image
Estate agent shaking hands with customer after contract signature

Establish a niche

The real estate industry is quite huge in terms of the range of products available. Working as a real estate agent, therefore, exposes you to a wide range of opportunities and options from which you can choose where to major in. Whereas there is no precise division in terms of products you can deal with, it is important to understand where your passion is. Among the key opportunities at your disposal in this regard includes focusing on becoming a buyer’s agent whereby your role would include finding and negotiating for a home for your clients.

A listing agent role, on the other hand, will give you an opportunity to become partners with persons seeking to sell their homes. Other types of real estate agencies that you can focus on include working as a dual agent where you represent the interests of both buyers and sellers and working as a transaction coordinator where you help in the processing of the administrative items in real estates. Defining and knowing your role in the real estate agency industry will give you proper incentives to understand what your goal would be, thereby helping you to get focused.

Know your market well

The real estate industry is quite volatile and is defined by various factors including social, economic, and political factors. These factors affect the industry in terms of pricing of products. To be successful, you need to understand the real estate industry in general well. Such understanding ensures that you can appropriately respond when the market behaves in certain ways, thereby preventing prospects of making errors.

In addition to the overall knowledge of the industry, it is important to have specific knowledge of the particular market that you are focusing on. If, for example, you are operating within a certain locality or neighborhood, it is prudential to understand the dynamics of pricing of real estate products within the area as this gives you an opportunity to be relevant to the market and your customers in general.

Know where to source good deals

As an investor and businessman working as an agent in the real estate industry, it is important to be a good deal maker. Part of the successful deal-making process requires you to understand where to source your products from. Success is also defined in terms of your ability to accurately balance profit-making and customer satisfaction. In this regard, finding a good deal from the various key sources of real estate properties is crucial.

As an agent, you should, therefore, be well equipped with knowledge regarding real estate auctions where you can source a good property up for sale. It also pays to learn more about potential distressed properties for sale in your locality and the market in general as you can be sure to find good and affordable deals.

Establish partnerships

In any business, establishing partnerships is one of the critical factors that define success. When working as a real estate agent, establishing such partnerships with other real estate agents and clients gives you an opportunity to network in ways that increase the prospects of successfully making deals. Networking with the relevant stakeholders in the real estate industry increases the prospects of your success as it may also open up new opportunities through referrals.

Establish and cultivate an online presence

In this digital age, various tools have been introduced that can significantly revamp and boost your business as a real estate agent. You should, therefore, endeavor to establish an online presence by creating a website or a blog from where you can engage the market meaningfully by regularly publishing relevant information. Social media presence such as on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can also significantly improve your reputation and grasp of the market as you get an opportunity to network and meet other key market players in the real estate industry.

Prepare for challenges

The real estate industry, like any other industry, is quite volatile and prone to significant challenges. When investing in this sector, it is important to foresee the various challenges that you will be bound to meet ahead of you as that gives you a hedge and the ability to plan yourself beforehand. Among the prominent challenges that you will be bound to meet include:-

Fluctuating sales

· Fluctuating sales – sometimes your ability to drive sales would flop seasonally based on external factors.

External impacts

· External impacts – the industry is controlled by multiple key factors including political influence which may destabilize your position as an agent.

Financial shortcomings

· Financial shortcomings – you may go for long without driving sales, therefore prompting you to take some cost-cutting measures.

Competition

· Competition – the real estate sector is quite congested with numerous sales agents.

Lack of a definite schedule

· Lack of a definite schedule – sometimes you may be required to work overtime to secure deals and be able to meet your clients.

Volatile responsibilities

· Volatile responsibilities – working as a real estate agent needs you to be able to switch roles between a buyer’s agent and a sales agent.

Disappointments

· Disappointments – it is not guaranteed that you will successfully seal deals. Sometimes you will get disappointed by failed deals.

In conclusion, working as a real estate agent in our economy today requires you to be fully-equipped with sufficient knowledge of the various factors that drive success. Sufficient preparation thereof requires you to not only understand your market but also know your role well and how to optimize your success by utilizing various tech-tools available in the market. Also, you need to be well aware of the multiple challenges you would be bound to meet and how you can counter them while maintaining focus in your work.

Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Renting

Renting can be an amazing option for a lot of people who want to get out into the world and live independently. It’s more accessible than trying to buy a house and you don’t have to worry about nearly as many fees. Not only that but it offers you plenty of flexibility if you’re looking to move around or find somewhere new. That being said, it’s certainly not all fun and games. The truth is that renting can be incredibly stressful sometimes. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to take the stress out of renting, at least a little bit.

Ways To Take The Stress Out Of Renting- apartments image

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Find somewhere long-term

One of the most common issues that a lot of people have with renting a home is that they often end up feeling as though they’re living their lives in ten-minute chunks. They end up having to renew their lease over and over again and with that comes the fear that you’re not going to be able to renew it and you’ll have to find somewhere else to live. One of the best ways to deal with this is to find somewhere like Glamour Apartments that specializes in long-term rentals. That way you get all of the benefits of renting with an added sense of stability and security.    

Get on good terms with your landlord

The kind of relationship that you have with your landlord can make a huge difference to how much you enjoy renting your home. If they’re helpful and look after you then it can be a dream, but if they’re useless, it can more like a nightmare. From broken appliances to leaking pipes, your landlord is the one who should be taking responsibility for those things, and the best way to ensure that they’re dealt with in a timely manner is to get on good terms with them so that they’re more likely to go out of their way to help you.

Take photos of everything

Here’s the thing, even if they’re lovely people, landlords and estate agents are trying to get as much money out of you as possible. This means that when the time comes to leave, they will find any excuse to drain money out of your deposit before giving it back to you. The best way to ensure that you’re not blamed for something in the house that wasn’t your fault or was already there when you moved in is to take photos of every corner of the property on the day you arrive. That way you have clear evidence that anything wrong with the place isn’t your fault.

Of course, if you’re really sick of renting then trying to buy your own home is always something to look into. Sure, that might not be something you can do right now, but planning for the future is one of the very best ways that you can start turning your goals into a reality. Sure, there’s a lot of stress that comes with buying and owning your own home, but a lot of people tend to find that the benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks.

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.

Buy Property, Build Wealth. It's That Simple - New England style house image

New England Style House Luxury Property

Credit: Max Pixel

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.

Buy Property, Build Wealth. It's That Simple - housing suburbs image

Credit: Wikipedia

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.

Unique Ways To Increase The Price Of Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home? If so, you probably want to find ways to increase the value as much as you can. Perhaps surprisingly, there are a lot of unique ways to increase the value of your home besides just the standard fare of making improvements on your own.

Unique Ways To Increase The Price Of Your Home - house image

Naming Your Home 

Have you ever considered the possibility of naming your house? Believe it or not, the simple act of naming your home can often significantly increase the value and the asking price that you can receive. For example, if you have the last name of Chandler, and your home is at 548 Hill Street, rather than just saying the address, wouldn’t it sound much better if you said this is Chandler Manor? We certainly think so!

Helping Out The Neighbours 

Sometimes, the simple act of helping out the neighbours can help improve the value of your home as well. How so? Consider the “eyesore effect.” Just the very fact alone that potential buyers will have to look at a messy neighbour’s property might bring down the price of your home. This is one of the main reasons why you should consider volunteering your time to help these neighbours out! For example, if you have a neighbour that has an unkempt garden, perhaps they simply do not have the time nor do they have the wherewithal to keep the garden or exterior up. However, if you work to keep this garden up for them, you will only feel good, but you will help the scenery for any potential buyers of your home. The same goes for a scrap in yards. You can definitely volunteer your time to spruce up a neighbour’s yard and help them clear out any scrap (with their permission of course). In some cases, the simple act of just helping to spruce up your neighbour’s property might even raise your house value by an extra thousand or two. 

Helping Out The Street 

You could also consider sprucing up part of the street that your home is on. Admittedly, this game plan is not something that can be accomplished overnight. However, if it is in your long-term planning to eventually sell your home you might consider some community involvement such as attending a meeting at a local homeowners association or leading an initiative before your local town council. Will the payoff happen right away? No, it won’t. This will occur over a number of months or even a number of years.

Add Some Extra Colour To Your Home 

Although this might seem like a no-brainer, adding some colour to your house can definitely improve the resale value of it. However, there is a catch here. Don’t just add any colour scheme to your home. First of all, you should intently study the colours of the houses that have recently sold well in your area. Although colour is of course not the only factor, look at what colour schemes the top sellers in the realty pages have had. You might strongly consider repainting your house these colours, and you might consider acquiring a computer program that will allow you to experiment with how different colours would look on your home as well. In doing some of these suggestions, you will definitely have a strong improvement in the potential resale value of your home!