5 Improvements That Can Increase Your Home Value

5 Improvements That Can Increase Your Home Value

The value of a home is always something important that the owner should constantly work to maintain and increase. Whether you’re looking to stay in the home for 5,10, or 20 years you should always do things to increase the value of the home. Some people often don’t know the things that directly add value to a home. Here are 5 improvements that increase the value of a home. New Kitchen The place that will usually draw a buyer to a home is the kitchen. The newer and shinier, the more appeal the home will have. If you don’t have the ability to overhaul the entire kitchen, start with little projects and go from there. Starting with new fixtures, flooring, appliances, and paint can change the entire look of that kitchen. While cabinets and counter tops may be huge renovations, saving for them over time will defray the cost and make things easier. Bathroom Updates While its usually the smallest room in the home, it can possibly have the biggest impact. Just like in the kitchen, starting small is the best plan of action. Changing the vanity, paint color, or fixtures can update and change the entire look of the bathroom. Being that the bathroom is small, laying new flooring wont break the bank and will change the entire scheme of things in the bathroom. Another thing to possible consider if you have tiling would be to re grouting the tile may be a very inexpensive option. Lighting  The brighter the space appears, the bigger it feels and seems. If you’re listing the home for sale, you want that...
4 Reasons Your Home May Not Be Selling

4 Reasons Your Home May Not Be Selling

Selling your home isn’t always an easy task. There are many variables that go into a successful transaction, and most are usually in the control of those directly handling the home. Here are 4 reasons why your home may not be selling. The Smell of Your Home The old adage is, “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it”. Potential buyers walk into homes and a strange or unwelcoming smell can push the buyer out of that house a lot faster.  Pets are a part of our families but the smell can ruin a buyers feeling on the home. Scented candles and air fresheners go along way in changing the way a home feels to those looking. The Home May Need Some TLC Repairs are usually seen by buyers as a burden, and many don’t look to take them on. We all want the most for the least, and potential home buyers are no different. Looking to get the most for your home will sometimes require you to make the necessary repairs to warrant that amount. Small fixtures, updates, and cleaning can go along way. Presentation is all wrong The first place your home is seen is typically online in a quick flip through on a phone and computer. . With that being said, what will make the buyer want to take the time to see your property? Professional photography and staging in some cases can go a really long way in making your home stand out. Secondly, listing the immediate benefits of the home (location, size, proximity to areas of interest) may peak the interest and lead...
5 Things To Know Before You Finance A Home

5 Things To Know Before You Finance A Home

Most people that buy any type of home, usually finance it. With that being said, that is the biggest purchase one will make in life. With something of that magnitude, you should be very cautious and know what you’re doing beforehand. Here are my 5 things you need to know before you make the jump into financing a home. 1. Understand the full cost of owning a home There are four parts of a mortgage; Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance. While the taxes are usually set, the insurance is dependent upon the property (size, area,pool,pets). Principal is the amount being financed and interest is the amount being charged to borrow that. Another aspect is your monthly bills, home maintenance, and other repair costs. Its is very important to have a mortgage that you are very comfortable with. 2. Know your credit Your credit history will determine if you ultimately get approved. By knowing where you stand credit wise, it makes the process that much easier of knowing what needs to be cleaned up and addressed beforehand. You should pull a free annual credit report and know where you stand. (Annualcreditreport.com) 3. Match your mortgage type with goals If your income isn’t going to grow over time, you will probably be in the home longer term, so you’ll want a loan with a payment that won’t change, like a 30-year fixed. Or maybe you expect your income to increase sharply within five years and you’re going to upgrade homes within that time, so you’ll want a five-year ARM, which has a much lower rate. If you don’t have a 20-percent down...
5 Steps To Start Improving Your Credit

5 Steps To Start Improving Your Credit

Credit is a vital part to success and ease in your adult life. Having bad credit will result in you having to pay more in interest rates on cars, homes, credit cards, and even personal loans. If your credit score is really low, you’ll likely come across a denial in more cases than not. So what do you need to do to start on the path to improving your credit? Here are my first 5 Steps to Improve Your Credit KNOW WHERE YOU STAND In order to solve the problem, you must first know where you stand. There are several places online that offer a free estimate of where your score is (most popularly www.creditkarma.com). Visit Annualcreditreport.com to pull a report from all three bureaus. Although you wont have a score, you will see the things that are reporting and things you need to address and have possibly disputed. START TO BUILD YOUR CREDIT HISTORY While removing bad or inaccurate items off your reports are helpful, they wont necessarily make your score rise. You have to maintain and have all credit accounts in good standing. The easiest and best type of credit to get is a revolving credit or secured credit card. They usually report monthly to all three bureaus and if used correctly will lift your score. The biggest rule of thumb is to keep every balance under 30% of the available limit. RESEARCH CREDIT OPTIONS AND DON’T JUMP AT FIRST OFFER Just because you get a card offer, don’t just accept. Most people don’t read the fine print of the card info. Be careful to see what the...
5 First Steps To Improving Your Credit Score

5 First Steps To Improving Your Credit Score

When it comes to improving your credit there is no “instant” fix to make it happen overnight. The best and fastest way to make sure that your credit stays great is to never let it go bad. Life happens to us all, and things happen. Here are the first 5 steps I direct my clients to do to improve their credit scores: Get a copy of your credit report and address errors According to a recent poll, 1 in 5 consumers have an error on their report. You should visit annualcreditreport.com and download your report (every citizen gets a free copy once a year), and see that everything is accurate and up to date. 2. Write a letter, or have credit repair company handle the errors found If errors or maybe a late payment is found, contacting the company that reported it should be your next step. It isn’t easy to get a creditor to remove a late payment, but there is a dispute process. Most lenders really only factor in the late payments within the last 12 months. Removing a negative account from your report can drastically improve your score once done. 3. Lower your credit card usage 30% of your credit score is your outstanding and current debt. Lowering that (under 30% of your limit on each card and overall) balance will definitely help your score within 30 days as well once the creditor next reports. Another option, is to request a balance increase from your creditor, which will lower how much is being used if increased. 4. Don’t apply for any credit Seeking new credit in...
5 Steps to Get You Closer to Owning A Home While Renting.

5 Steps to Get You Closer to Owning A Home While Renting.

If you’re a renter and intend to one day own your own home, the being prepared is one of the best things you can do to ease the process. Buying any type of property isn’t easy,  but you can avoid some of the pitfalls by having all your ducks in a row ahead of time. Here are 5 things that will advance you in the transition from renter to homeowner: UNDERSTAND COSTS When renting, all you pay is your rent in most case, but as a homeowner a mortgage purposes satisfies several things. A mortgage payment is broken down by four things, P.I.T.I. (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). This is very vital to know because some towns have higher tax rates than others which will ultimately increase your monthly payment no matter how good of a deal your realtor gets for you. You also are responsible for the things that go wrong on your home, and the repairs that go along with them. This is a very overlooked aspect as many people arent ready for the things that tend to go wrong. KNOW HOMEOWNER TAX BENEFITS Mortgage interest and property taxes are both deductible when you file your annual tax returns and reduce taxable income. These deductions significantly lower the cost of home ownership. This is one of the best benefits to owning property. KNOW THE RENT VS. BUY NUMBERS In most areas of the country it is becoming cheaper to buy a home rather than rent a place. Most people are scared of the down payment required for a house but fail to realize, the average rental in Connecticut...

5 Easy Home Upgrades To Get Your Home Sold Faster

With the current market as busy as it is, putting yourself in the best position as a seller is vital. Selling your home for the highest amount possible, and in the fastest time is every seller’s goal. So what does it take to achieve that? Price is always the determining factor in your home selling and how fast it sells. What are some other things you can do to get that home sold for more money and faster? Here are 5 helpful tips in making it happen: Neutral paint Paint goes along way in the appearance and presentation of  the home. When buyers walk in, the more neutral the colors, the warmer and appealing the home is. Light Blue or gray seem to be the most popular of the colors at the current time, as that’s what you see on a lot of HGTV programs. Homes with walls that are painted light blue or a pale blue-gray color could bring in as much as $5,440 more than if the home had white walls, according to Zillow’s Paint Color Analysis of more than 32,000 photos of homes sold nationwide. Knobs and fixtures This may be one of the cheapest and effective things that can be done, changing hardware and fixtures all throughout the house. Changing the hardware on the cabinets, drawers, and handles in your kitchen with a stainless or brushed nickel look can drastically change the appearance. While you’re at it, getting matching plumbing fixtures can fully compliment the new look. When it comes to bathrooms, these simple things can go even further, as a vanity change can alter the...
Which Mortgage Product Is Right For You?

Which Mortgage Product Is Right For You?

When buying a home, at any level your first step is getting pre approval for a mortgage. There are several different types of mortgages that allow flexibility to the borrower and fit each scenario a little differently. Here are a few scenarios buyer present and the best type of loan for each: “I want the lowest monthly payment possible” You best bet will be to go with a conventional loan with 20% down. Being that you’re putting that much down, you will not have a PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance which is a fee for any loan in which you didn’t put down at least 20%) in your monthly mortgage. You will also likely have instant equity, being that you owe likely 80% of the value of the home. “I cant afford 20% down, but want a lower payment” Conventional is still available without 20% down. You can go 5%,10%, or sometimes even 15% down. You will still have PMI, but you will also avoid putting down and extra 5-15% percent of the home down at closing. This is a great loan option to keep the loan lower by putting a good amount of money down. “I don’t have much money for down payment but have excellent credit and great job” The best option in this scenario would possibly be a 100% financing loan. This is where you borrow the loan to purchase the home and a second small loan to pay for what would’ve been your down payment. While you are borrowing more, your interest rate is usually the lowest possible on the market at that time. Its really...
What are the requirements to get started in the home buying process?

What are the requirements to get started in the home buying process?

Owning a home is the American dream, that most people want to achieve at some point in life. Do most people know what the basic steps are to begin? Here they are. 1. Decide if owning is for you Owning is a big difference as compared to renting. You have all the responsibility for maintenance and costs that go with owning a home. Whether you go single family or multifamily, the responsibility is there. What i would advise doing is using a online calculator to determine what a mortgage and if you can cover those costs. 2. Sit and discuss with Myself/Lender Once you decide to pursue owning a home, meeting with a Realtor (me, lol) should be your next step. I will paint the picture and let you know what will be needed to make this happen and answer the many questions a first time home buyer would have. I work with several reputable lenders who can get you the best loan product for your particular situation. You are more than welcome to contact your own lender and/or bank, but working with a lender that has a relationship with your Realtor will ensure the process is as smooth as possible. 3. Get Pre approved Once you speak to the lender and they check your finances and credit, they’ll  be able to supply you with a pre approval. Most cases they will give you a maximum amount, that fits what you’re comfortable paying monthly. Once you have this, we can start home shopping. Here are the basics needed to get a mortgage pre approval. -Credit score of above a...
4 Things To Do While Saving To Buy A Home

4 Things To Do While Saving To Buy A Home

Being a first time home buyer, you do have some homework to do outside of just choosing a realtor. The realtor can explain and direct you to the best of their abilities in purchasing your home. Aside from the obvious step of saving money, here are 5 things you can do to make the process that much easier. Understanding the full cost of home ownership When you rent, the one payment covers just about everything (utilities excluded). You’re not fixing the broken sink, appliance, or any taking care of the grounds, its the owners responsibility. These are things as a new homeowner you need to brace and prepare for. Luckily, in most first time home buyer situations, taxes and insurance are included in your monthly mortgage due to the type of loan product most popular with first timers. If you’re pursuing a condo, you’ll have to factor in that condo fee (HOA) as an additional expense. These are all things you need to factor in and decide if you will be able to afford as well as the new mortgage. Know the Buy Vs Rent Pros and Cons Renting may actually be a better option for some individuals. Maybe somebody that isn’t completely set on living in a certain area due to career or personal factors. Some people aren’t able to own a home because they don’t have the time or funds to maintain it. Buying is becoming cheaper than renting in most areas of the country due to the tax breaks at the end of the year set for homeowners. This is something that you and a realtor...

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