Buying a home is arguably one of the largest investments you will ever make. Home ownership is a great way to build your personal wealth and one of the primary ways to do that is by allowing it to appreciate and build equity. Here are some great ways to build home equity while keeping your budget in mind.
#1: Before buying your home, save for a larger down payment.
Saving for a down payment on your home is key, but the larger your down payment is, the less your mortgage is, which could help when the market increases, and you begin building equity. The tradeoff: if you wait too long to save for a larger down payment, you may miss your window in getting the home you really want for the price you can really afford. A good lender can provide the information you need.
#2: Stay in your home.
Once you’ve found your dream home, stay put for a while. The longer you stay in your home, the more likely you’ll build equity. As the real estate market continues to rise, your equity will improve naturally, and you won’t have to do anything except enjoy your home.
#3: Keep your home maintained well.
Don’t neglect home maintenance. Keep on top of small maintenance tasks to keep the list from getting long and out of hand. For example, make sure you tend to your roof yearly, checking it for leaks or ripped shingles, schedule annual heating and cooling system preventative maintenance appointments, and keep your yard and landscaping trimmed and managed. A home that is well taken care of not only makes it better for you to live in, but it also adds curb appeal, makes your neighbors happy, and will help your home stay competitive, thereby enhancing your equity.
#4: Make extra payments.
A lot of people choose to cut their loan term to 15 years rather than 30 years, to pay off their mortgage debt. Rather than taking a 15-year loan which locks you into a higher payment, make a couple of extra payments a year that is designated to principal, not an upcoming payment. By doing this, you’ll be able to cut your mortgage term down significantly and you’ll be able to build equity faster.
Ready to start on your path to building home equity? I have more than two decades of experience as a Realtor® and can help you start the process of looking for a new home and can provide tips on what you can do to help increase the value of your home! I love working with people around Clark County, so contact me to help you with the information you need to start your adventure in either buying or selling a home.
Open floor plans are one of the most desirable features in homes today. In fact, many of the remodeling and design shows on TV feature knocking out walls, adding support beams, and changing up the whole floor plan, making it feel open and spacious. Sometimes it makes you think, “Can I do that to my home?”
Open layouts provide a welcoming space that doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered. Unfortunately, some homes simply don’t have the open space that you might desire. But, there is good news! You might be able to remodel or redesign the space in your home so that you can have the open plan that you want.
Idea #1: Remove unnecessary walls.
If you have walls in your home that aren’t supporting or load-bearing walls or ones that don’t cover plumbing pipes, you may be able to take down the walls and combine the space to make the area feel bigger. After all the necessary permits are in place, this is a pretty simple task for construction companies, as they simply will need to knock out the wall and rewire any electrical lines that need to be adjusted. Even if a whole wall isn’t removed, even partial wall removal might be an option to help open up the space.
Idea #2: Paint, paint, paint.
Even though you might love that dark purple color, it might not be the best choice to lighten up the room. Choosing lighter colors for your walls and floors can make your home look and feel bigger. So, when choosing colors, keep in mind the size of your room. In addition, be sure that the paint color, and furniture colors flow together from room to room, in addition to using matching or similar flooring throughout the home. If these things don’t flow, the space might be made to feel choppy rather than fluid and open.
Idea #3: Add more light.
Adding more natural light is a fantastic way to make the rooms feel brighter and bigger. Add French doors or a sliding door at the back of your home. Or, consider installing skylights or new bigger and brighter windows in your rooms to bring in more light. When it comes to window coverings, avoid bulky curtains and instead, consider adding fabric blinds or lighter sheer drapes so the space doesn’t feel heavy or too dark.
Your home should be your retreat space, so making it feel warm and inviting is important and these projects are often affordable and won’t cause you to dip into your savings account too much!
Well, the holidays are over, the dinner parties are done, and your company has left for a time. And have you noticed that the stores around town have moved all of the storage boxes, Rubbermaid containers, and organizational planners up to the front of the store so they are in your line of vision as soon as you enter the doors? The beginning of a new year is a great time to do some reorganization and rethinking of goals and priorities in your life. Have you thought about rethinking how you can get the most out of your living area, while making the most out of your finances? Are you tired of spending your money every month on rent, or are you done with living in a space that is clearly too small for you or your family? Or maybe your kids have moved out and it’s time to downsize? There are a variety of reasons why 2015 is a good year to make a move.
Listen up, buyers! Lending is loosening up and rates are low but may be on the rise in the near future, so getting the ball rolling on a new home purchase is important to do quickly. In addition, prices are still low but are steadily on the rise. So, getting into a home that works for your budget before prices go up too much is important.
Sellers, inventory is low! That means that if you choose to list your home, you will be able to get top dollar and have less competition. Selling prices have risen nicely, so that means that crunching the numbers on what you can get for your home is certainly worth looking at.
A new year means lots of open doors and opportunities. So, whether it’s buying or selling, if you’ve been debating on how you can make a move in the real estate market this year, it’s time to get a real estate review going. Perhaps 2015 will be a great real estate year for you!
Brrrr….it’s cold outside! The cold winter months are now upon us! During the summer months, it’s easier to keep your yard and garden looking great, but in the winter, the idea of getting outside to do yard work is not an inviting one. If your home is on the market, it’s important to remember that if you neglect the exterior, then you may be at risk for deterring prospective buyers. Instead, keep it looking warm and inviting! Be sure that the leaves are raked on a regular basis and mow and edge the lawn regularly so it doesn’t get unkempt and overgrown. If the house is vacant, keep newspapers and other flyers off the porch and be sure to keep the heat at 65 degrees so the house isn’t cold when it is being shown to potential buyers.
Looking for some other ways to create curb appeal in the winter? It doesn’t require a lot of money or complex changes. It just requires a little bit of effort.
Add color: In the dead of winter, color is often lacking. So, add some plants that will survive the winter, such as evergreens or hearty plants that can add a splash of color to the winter landscape. Add some planters filled with evergreen plants and put them by the door. Or add a nice wreath to the door.
Keep paths clear: If your pathways to the home are icy or snowy, be sure to make it as non-slippery and clear of snow/ice as possible. Pour salt on the area and be sure to keep things clear so it is safe. In addition, if the area is cleared, it also gives buyers a good idea of the true size of the area.
Sparkle and lights: Some of most inviting homes have a special seasonal sparkle. Add some simple sparkling lights to the exterior of the home, either with Christmas lights, or some nice lights that line the walkway or driveway to the home. Or, if you have a bird bath, fountain, or other area that goes unused in the winter, consider transforming that area into something else for a few months – maybe add a planter or an outdoor sculpture with some lights to that area instead. In addition, because it gets dark early during the cold winter months, be sure that there is plenty of lights around the home. Be sure that your flood lights or porch lights are in good working order and keep some lights on in the exterior of the home as well.
A drab and dreary winter doesn’t have to wreck the curb appeal on your home. With quality landscaping and a little bit of creativity and effort, your yard can shine even during the coldest part of the year!
Well, after hours of searching and a lot of different house showings, you’ve finally found the home you want. With a home sale, there are a lot of different things that need to happen. Paperwork needs to be signed, loans need to be cleared, and a home inspection needs to be done. You might have wondered why you need a home inspection. Even though the house might appear to be perfect, there are often hidden problems that can be diagnosed when a reputable home inspector comes to take a thorough look at the property.
Benefit #1: Peace of mind.
Buying a home is arguably one of the largest and most important purchases that you will ever make in your lifetime. Because of this, you should make sure that there aren’t any hidden issues that could have been spotted with a home inspection. When it comes to buying a home, you need peace of mind, knowing that you’re getting a fair price for the home.
Benefit #2: Hidden problems can be discovered.
A home inspection will include a full report of the condition of the home, both interior and exterior, as well as those harder to see areas such as the crawlspace, chimney, or attic. The report is designed to point out any major problems as well as some minor ones that can be fixed with simple improvements. No one likes surprises when it comes to home repairs, so knowing what you are getting into before you move in is important.
Benefit #3: Saves you money in the long run.
If you don’t have a home inspection and you decide to go ahead with the purchase of the home, there may be costly issues that pop up after you move in. This could be avoided by simply having a home inspection done during the purchasing process. It’s very common that the seller will fix issues before the sale goes through. This means the seller is responsible and you’re off the hook for those repairs – that can save you big bucks down the road!
Your home is a big investment and in order to be protected and know the exact condition of the home, a home inspection is a definite must-have.
Are you eager to get out there and buy a home? The market is pretty hot right now, with great interest rates with a variety of charming homes for sale. But, buying a home can also be pretty overwhelming, especially in a market where inventory is on the lower side and buyers just like you are looking to get a good deal. Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or you’re experienced in buying and selling homes, there are some simple ways to have a successful, more enjoyable home buying experience.
Tip #1: Find and use an experienced Realtor™.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to choosing a realtor. So, find a Realtor™ that you trust – one that has significant market knowledge as well as community knowledge. In addition, this person should be able to prove successful home sale transactions in months and years past. Your Realtor™ should be someone that is looking out for your best interest and is there to work with you throughout the process. They are there to find the best home for you within your budget and you’re there to supply what they need to get the job done right. Home buying is a real partnership between a client and the Realtor™.
Tip #2: Know what you can afford.
This may seem obvious, but it can be a little bit more complicated than what it seems. Talk with an experienced lender and get pre-approval, but keep in mind that what you’re pre-approved for doesn’t always mean that’s what you can afford. Look closely at your monthly and yearly finances and consider your investment strategy. Knowing how much you’re able to take on for a mortgage payment before you start searching for houses will save you and your Realtor™ significant time and energy in the long run.
Tip #3: Know how you’re going to transition from current housing.
Consider what happens if you find a home that you want to buy before your current home is sold or before your lease is up. If you need to break a lease, add this into your home buying costs so you can be prepared when it comes time to move. If you need to sell your home, ask your Realtor™ how the market is doing in that area. If you need to find interim housing, have that lined up just in case you need it to fall back on. No homebuyer wants to end up homeless before closing on the new home is final!
In the end, remember that it’s ok to ask questions along the way. In fact, please do! Your Realtor™ will want to be sure that your questions are answered so they have the information that they need to find a great home for you and your family.