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...
The 5 Pillars Of Buying An Investment Property

The 5 Pillars Of Buying An Investment Property

Real estate is usually the surest and best way to become wealthy in America. Its all around us and the need is always there. Those that have learned and are learning this understand that the first investment property is usually residential of some type. Here are the 5 key things to focus when buying an investment property. Financing (Down payment and interest rates) Funds to purchase the property is usually the first thing that should be determined and factored in. There are a few different avenues one can take, in purchasing. You can buy your first home as an owner occupant (2-units) and put down up to about 3.5% of the purchase price down. You will usually have to live there for about a year, being its a owner occupant. If you’re looking to buy more than 4 units, you’re likely looking at anywhere from 20%-25% down. Interest rates are higher for non owner occupant loans, so that is something you want to discuss with your loan officer. Decide if you’re looking to rent or flip the property Buying and holding versus buying to flip are two separate strategies. Flipping a house will cost you more upfront money to get the home sell-able and ready for the market. Getting your initial investment back on a buy-hold will take a little longer but you’re starting to build equity and a portfolio. Renting the property for income is the smarter route for a beginner until they fully learn the ins and outs of the flipping business. Understand where you’re buying Knowing what is selling and renting in the area is vital for...

The 5 Reasons You Should Buy Your Home This Fall

With all the beautiful Connecticut foliage, happenings, and fairs going on during another New England fall season, real estate is something else you should have an eye on. While spring is the most popular buying season, here are 5 reasons you should buy a house this fall. What’s left of Spring Inventory may work for you As stated before Spring is when most sellers list their home initially, but what happens when they don’t sell? Most sellers stay on the market in hopes of selling and may end up with a home that sells less than its market value. Less Buying Competition A biy motivation in buying is closing before school starts, and now that time has come and gone. Many are also hesitant to buy in the fall and cooler months of the year. Many Sellers want to close by years end Some properties aren’t homes and investments for some owner, so the tax consequences can be motivation for a seller to make a deal. Some agents even convince sellers to offer incentives and extra discount to buyers whom can close by years end. Homes on the market during holidays usually have motivated sellers Many don’t like their home to be viewed or open during holidays and disrupting their family gatherings and events. If a seller is listed during this time, then in most cases they’re motivated and likely to work harder to put the deal together. The great landscaping is gone Flowers are starting to die and trees losing their leaves so the beauty of the landscaping for homes is going away. This will let you know...
5 Areas To Focus On To Add Value To Your Home

5 Areas To Focus On To Add Value To Your Home

Once you make your house a home, the value of it multiplies to you. You’ve raised your family there, likely grew in many areas of life, and it may have even been your first taste of home ownership. While all of these are great things and views on why your home is great, that doesn’t necessarily add monetary value to your home. The next buyer won’t really look at your home that way and rightfully so, being real estate transactions are a business. If you’re looking for some areas to focus on to add value in the eyes of buyers to your home, here are the 5 places to do so. Kitchen This is usually the biggest and best place to add value to that home. Whats usually the first thing people fall in love with in a home? Its usually the kitchen. While a major renovation can and will be costly, doing minor projects can get you there and to the same place. Maybe choosing to refinish existing cabinets as opposed to replacing the entire space of cabinets, can save you thousands and have the same look. Step by step is always the best way to go for somebody on a budget. Shopping around and tying all your ideas together will get it done and get that kitchen ready to make your home that much better. Bathroom Updates The smallest room can add big value to every other space in that house. Being that it is the smallest, it usually doesn’t cost too much to make it shine. Less floor space make it easier to re-tile the floor,...
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...
6 Things To Know Before You Become A Landlord

6 Things To Know Before You Become A Landlord

Real estate is one of the most trusted and surest ways to gain wealth. Everywhere we go is Real Estate, and we are always on somebodies property. Being a Realtor, I held many buy property and often help first time buyers become landlords. This is a great thing to do and can save and make you a lot of money, and sometimes result in you living rent and mortgage free. Its not easy of course and will take patience and being in the know. Here are 6 things to know before becoming a landlord. Buy Locally It may seem pretty obvious but sometimes, ones hometown isn’t the best place to own a multi-family home. You want to be able to be within reasonable driving distance to the property so that you’re not going out of your way to visit it. Know Landlord laws Knowing what you’re legally able to do is often an overlooked step. While you may have experience dealing with a landlord, that’s not enough to handle a new tenant relationship. Knowing the laws and loopholes of this business relationship will keep you in the clear and out of court. Your local laws are located on this site. https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/law/landlord.htm Enforce timely rent payments This is another overlooked thing. The best way to go about this the right way would be to possibly list a late fee to rent in the lease. Keep in mind this is business, so regardless of a friendship developing, rent still is late after the 10th. By all means, keeping a good relationship can be done and while being firm on when payments are...
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 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...

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