What You Should Look for When House Hunting

If you’re shopping for a home and can afford to buy one, you couldn’t be in a better position right now. In many parts of the country, housing inventory is high and both home prices and interest rates are low and as a buyer, you can take advantage of that.

With so many properties on the market, you can probably take a more leisurely approach to house hunting without getting into a fast-paced bidding war. There is a caveat, however. The best homes priced properly for the market conditions will always be in higher demand.

As you begin your search for the right home for you, it pays to keep in mind things you need to check carefully so that they don’t cost you big bucks in the long run.

 

Written By: Diana Lundin. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

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What Do Home Buyers Want?

What do home buyers want in a new home?
According to AVID Ratings Co., some of the must-have amenities in a new house are home offices and green features.

Home buyers are willing to give up devoted space to home theaters and other specialized media rooms in order to have a home office. In fact, they’d be willing to forego a formal dining room altogether in order to have a home office or study.
And they want energy-efficiency in their appliances, windows and insulation.

Other desirable features are large kitchens with an island, though granite countertops aren’t necessarily important to all buyers.

 

Written By: Diana Lundin. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

The art of house hunting

Armed with your down payment and your pre-approval letter for a mortgage loan, the next step is finding the house that will best meet your family’s needs. With realistic expectations, patience and plenty of research, you’ll be well on your way.

Once you narrow the search to neighborhoods you like, you’ll want to determine the maximum house price you can afford. Even though you’re pre-approved for a set loan amount, it doesn’t mean you can afford it. You’ll want to factor in other expenses, including retirement and college savings, vacations, and home maintenance and repairs, when you calculate how much you can afford for a monthly payment. And don’t forget to budget for homeowners insurance and property taxes. There’s also homeowner’s assocation fees, especially in newer developments.

 

Written By: Michele Dawson. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

Sometimes Smaller Is Better

Keep buyers needs and wants in balance

The trend in residential construction is definitely toward bigger.
In the last 30 years, the square footage of a typical single-family house has increased by 40 percent. Yet there are some buyers looking for smaller houses. Many empty nesters are looking to downsize from houses that often exceed 4,000 square feet to ones that are 2,000 square feet or smaller.

Another segment is the first-time buyer. Typically just starting out and cash-poor, the first-timer in the new-house market wants an affordable house that will launch him or her on the road to equity.

However, while both segments want smaller, they want to have the appearance of bigger.

Written By: Al Heavens. If you would like to continue reading, click here .

Saving the Best for Last

The end of the year is a great time for renters to become homeowners, growing families to move to more accommodating homes, and baby boomers to find houses that fit their evolving lifestyles.
Benefits to buying at the end of the year include:

Tax savings. Closing on your new home by Dec. 31 means you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes and points on your loan on your income tax return. You can also deduct the interest costs associated with a home equity loan. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you are paying off so much interest.

Sellers might be more motivated. Many sellers will also be anxious to sell by the end of the year so that they, too, can enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. That means you may have more leverage during negotiations and they may be willing to accept lower than their listing price.

 

Written By: Michele Dawson. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

New House or an Old One?

Consider the pros and cons to each

As you embark on your venture to buy a home, one of the first decisions to make is whether to buy new or purchase an existing home. Each choice has its advantages, and there is no single answer that works for everyone.

You may be drawn to the shiny new, energy-efficient appliances, the great room, and the beautiful master suite offered in a new home. But you may also like the charm, the canopy of trees that drape over the sleepy neighborhood streets, and the increasing value of an existing home you’ve been eying.

 

Written By: Michele Dawson. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

Inspecting Your Home Inspector

While most people (almost 80 percent) have their homes inspected prior to purchase, just who is it that is inspecting the inspector? We’ve all seen those hidden-camera stories of home inspectors missing major defects, glossing over major problems or finding problems that they then offer to fix (for a charge, of course).

Since the industry isn’t closely regulated, it is important to make sure your home inspector is well trained and insured, especially since you are relying on the home inspector’s professional assessment to help decide on the biggest investment of your life. To help make sure your professional home inspector is just that— “professional”— the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI), a leading home inspection training organization, offers the following tips to help “inspect your inspector:”

 

Written By: Realtor. If you would like to continue reading, click here.