Anna Messina's Blog
If you plan to pursue a condo, it generally is a good idea to know exactly what to expect. That way, you can map out a successful condo buying journey, one that ensures you can avoid potential pitfalls along the way.
Ultimately, there are many factors to consider as you get ready to embark on the condo buying journey, and these include:
1. Where You Want to Live
The condos in a big city often are very different from those available in a small town. Thus, you should make a list of your condo must-haves prior to starting a condo search to boost the likelihood of a seamless condo buying experience.
Furthermore, think about where you want to live before you kick off your condo search – you'll be happy that you did. Because if you can narrow your condo search to properties in a group of cities or towns, you may be able to speed up your condo search.
2. Your Budget
If you intend to buy a condo, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, many banks and credit unions are available, and these lenders can teach you everything that you need to know to put together a successful budget.
Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. If you connect with these mortgage specialists, you can learn about a variety of mortgage options and make an informed mortgage selection.
Also, don't forget to plan ahead for potential condo dues. Most condos provide lawn care, snow removal and other amenities that are covered under monthly or annual condo fees. Although these fees may not be included in your mortgage, you'll need to put aside funds each month to cover them. Therefore, you'll want to account for potential condo fees as you craft your condo buying budget.
3. Condo Living
Living in a condo and residing in a house are not the same thing. As such, you should try to prepare for condo living as much as possible to ensure that the condo lifestyle is right for you.
For example, condo owners typically won't have to worry about performing lawn care thanks to their condo fees. At the same time, condo owners will need to comply with various regulations established by a community's homeowner's association (HOA). In fact, failure to comply with HOA rules could result in fines or other penalties.
If you want to get a better understanding about what it's like to live in a particular condo community, it may be beneficial to consult with a real estate agent with condo buying expertise. This housing market expert can offer insights into different condo communities in your city or town. Then, if you want to pursue a condo in a specific community, a real estate agent can help you purchase your ideal condo.
Ready to take the guesswork out of buying a condo? Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can streamline the process of going from condo buyer to condo owner.
If you find lots of great homes are available and cannot decide which residence to buy, there is no need to stress. Rather than submit multiple offers to purchase various houses, you should hone your home search. By doing so, you can discover the right residence, at the right price.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you narrow your home search.
1. Define Your Dream Home
Think about the features you want in your dream home. Then, you can make a list of "must-have" home features and search for residences that offer these features.
Furthermore, consider where you want to reside. If you prefer big city living, for example, you may want to focus exclusively on city houses. On the other hand, if you want to reside in a small town, you can search for residences in myriad small towns.
2. Conduct a Preliminary Housing Market Review
Let's face it – searching for a home can be overwhelming, regardless of whether you are a first-time or experienced homebuyer. But if you perform a preliminary housing market review, you can get a good idea about the volume and quality of available residences. Next, you can use this real estate market information to map out your homebuying journey.
Of course, it may be beneficial to attend open house events as well. These events enable you to get an up-close look at assorted residences. They also can help you understand the features you want in your dream house so you can further refine your home search.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to navigating the housing market, it helps to have a real estate expert at your side. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts are happy to help you acquire a superb residence at an affordable price.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to help you find a quality home that won't force you to break your budget. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and teach you about the real estate market. A real estate agent next will help you analyze the real estate market and explore a broad range of houses. And once you find a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
Let's not forget about the guidance a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying journey, either. Purchasing a house is no small feat, and a real estate agent will take the guesswork out of the homebuying cycle. Best of all, a real estate agent can respond to your homebuying concerns and questions at any time.
If you want to discover a home that matches your expectations, it helps to plan ahead for the property buying journey. By taking advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can streamline your house search and find your ideal home faster than ever before.
You know that you want to sell your house. However, you're still unsure about how to determine a "fair" price for your residence.
Ultimately, setting a fair price for your home may be easier than you think – here are three tips to help you establish the best price for your house.
1. Study the Housing Market
The housing market constantly changes. Therefore, a buyer's market today may transform into a seller's market tomorrow.
As a home seller, it is essential to analyze housing market data. That way, you can identify real estate market patterns and trends and plan your home selling journey accordingly.
Check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.
Also, don't forget to assess the prices of available residences that are similar to your own. This housing market data will help you see how your residence stacks up against the competition. It may provide you with the ability to narrow the price range for your home too.
2. Conduct a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal offers a valuable learning opportunity, particularly for a home seller who is uncertain about his or her house's strengths and weaknesses.
Typically, a home appraisal provides a home seller with plenty of actionable insights about the condition of his or her property. The appraisal often helps a home seller prioritize home improvements as well.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will analyze a house over the course of several hours. After an inspector's evaluation is complete, he or she will provide a home seller with a report that offers comprehensive insights about a home's condition.
A home appraisal can provide a home seller with a better idea about how to price his or her house in its current condition. Then, a home seller can complete assorted home improvements that may help him or her boost a residence's value.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
It never hurts to get expert support as you try to determine the best price for your house. Thus, collaborating with a real estate agent can make a world of difference for a home seller in any housing market, at any time.
A real estate agent can provide guidance as a home seller preps his or her residence for the housing market. This professional can respond to a home seller's price concerns and questions and help a home seller determine what constitutes a fair price based on the current housing market's conditions.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently. As a result, he or she can help you stir up plenty of interest in your home – something that may lead to multiple offers.
Ready to list your residence? Use these home selling tips, and you can determine the best price for your house.
Money is the root of many people’s stress and anxiety and it’s also the cause of many fights. But it doesn’t have to be for you. You may own a home now, but it doesn’t mean you should stop saving or that saving has to be a difficult undertaking.
Ideally you already have a robust emergency fund—this type of account is suggested by financial experts to have even before paying down ‘good’ debt such as student loans. This account is extremely important as you never know when or if that “rainy day” will come. The suggested amount to have in an emergency fund is six to nine months’ worth of income—and to be on the higher end if you own a home and have children. For instance, if you take home $3,000 a month, you should have $18,000 to $27,000 in your emergency fund. You should also consider whether it’s best to keep these funds in a regular savings account or a money market account.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of an emergency fund,let’s discuss how to keep saving—whether you are saving just to save or saving for a vacation, new car, or that fancy grill you’ve been eyeing.
Automatic deposit from primary income: If you aren’t doing this already then you should be. Automatic deposit is the easiest way to save money. Many places of employment offer this option, and if not your financial institution will. Automatically depositing money into a savings account (separate of the rest of your income) will force you to save. And if your place of employment offers this option then that money will never enter your checking account—out of sight, out of mind. If you must use your financial institution then have the automatic transfer occur on the day you are paid so the money is almost like it was never there for spending. Of course, this will be an adjustment if you are used to living off that money, especially if you just purchased a home. However, you can start small and work your way to a larger amount such as when you receive a raise or have other forms of incoming income.
Automatic transfer from checking to savings: Many financial institutions offer the ability to automatically transfer funds between your checking account and savings account each time you use your debit card. If your bank does not offer this opportunity there are apps for your phone that can easily connect to your online bank accounts and do the work for you. It’s a great way to save a small amount of money each time you swipe your card. And depending on how often you use your debit card, those savings could add up quickly. For example, you spend $25.33 at the grocery store and use your debit card to pay. Your bank (or app) will round that number up to $26.00 and transfer .67 into your account of choice. It’s too easy not to participate!
There are many other ways to be a better saver, but it’s best to start simple and small. Overwhelming yourself with how much you need/want to save and with many ways of saving, might cause the opposite to happen. Remember, you have a house to pay for and all the other expenses that come with it. Be conscious of your financial situation and be diligent with your savings strategy and you’ll be on the road to being a savings master.